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Full text of "Reminiscences of General Herman Haupt; giving hitherto unpublished official orders, personal narratives of important military operations, and interviews with President Lincoln, Secretary Stanton, General-in-chief Halleck, and with Generals McDowell, McClellan, Meade, Hancock, Burnside, and others in command of the armies in the field, and his impressions of these men"

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C/tf.w No. 


ener al Herman 

IN JtTLY, 1001. 

_ O O 






Director, Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of the 

Pennsylvania Railroad 

Contractor and Chief Engineer for the Hoosac Tunnel 
Chief of the Bureau of United States Military Railroads in the 

Civil War 

Chief Engineer of the Tidewater Pipeline 
General Manager of the Richmond & Danville and 

Northern Pacific Railroads 

President American Air Power Company 

Etc Etc 








Illustrated from Photographs of Actual Operations in the Field 


Sold only by Private Subscription. 






T^HEEE is too much truth in the Irish observation that "No one 
* thinks of strewing flowers on a friend s grave till after he is 

The writer entertained a decided feeling that a man like Gen 
eral Haupt, full of years, of goodness, of unselfish patriotism, and 
of widely fruitful deeds, certainly should have his "grave" be 
strewn with the very choicest flowers while yet there was life to 
enjoy their fragrance. 

This feeling led to the publication of the present volume. 

The main portion of it, which is General Haupt s, was com 
mitted to writing by him in 1889. He had no intention of pub 
lishing the collection merely desired to get into record form, for 
the gratification of his grandchildren and other immediate de 
scendants, many important facts concerning our civil war which 
had entirely escaped the attention of historians especially those 
in which he was either the foremost or a conspicuous actor. They 
embrace personal interviews with the President, Secretary of War, 
General Halleck, and the Generals in command of the armies in 
the field, of which there are no official records. 

While going over his manuscript in search of material to ver 
ify certain portions of a Life of Edwin M. Stanion, the writer 
discovered not only the general historical value of the matter, but 
that the almost abnormal modesty of the narrator had resulted in 
so much self -submergence as to entirely deprive him of many im 
portant honors to which he was incontestably entitled. 

General Haupt was, therefore, besought to consent to the pub 
lication, during his lifetime, of a limited edition of his formal mil- 



itary story, prefixed by such a condensed but general sketch of his 
life as would afford an indication of at least the mountain-peaks 
of his remarkably ]ong and honorable career. 

This seemed the more necessary because the meagre records of 
the Government disclose not even the shadow of a reason for his 
sudden retirement from the army at the very zenith of his splendid 
achievements as Director of the Military Railroads of the United 
States, thus leaving the impression, perhaps, that there had been 
something discreditable in his conduct. 

He yielded to this importunity, with the result that 900 
numbered autograph copies of his story are available for such 
personal friends, army officers and libraries as care to subscribe 

for them. t- A IT 

r A r 


GENERAL HERMAN HAUPT (AT 84) Frontispiece 







SPAN 60 FEET 61 








HOOKS 121 


HOOKS 131 






TIE 181 


BOATS 191 






































BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG . . . . 208 to 222 









FINAL REPORT 268 to 280 



ROAD CORPS 289 to 296 



APPENDIX 320 to 326 

INDEX.. ..327 



ENERAL HAUPT, now in his 85th year and the active head 
of an important manufacturing enterprise in the United 
States, is one of the most interesting, as he certainly is one of the 
most remarkable, figures in our history. 

Few men have participated in so much that has contributed 
to the growth and grandeur of our country, yet how little the 
world knows of his career, how reluctant the trumpeters have been 
to herald his achievements ! 

A designer and builder of roads and bridges; a constructor 
of railroads and tunnels; a professor and author; an inventor and 
master mechanic; a military strategist and civil counsellor; a 
railway manager and canal engineer ; a manufacturer and organ 
izer of great enterprises; a military and civil engineer, still up- 
to-date and a leader of progress, he links the old with the new, the 
slow and sleepy past with the swift and dashing present in a way 
that is entirely exceptional. 

He was born in Philadelphia on March 26, IS 17. His father, 
Jacob Haupt, died in 1828, leaving a widow and six children. 


In 1830, through the help of John 13. Steriger, Member of 
Congress from Pennsylvania, he received an appointment to West 
Point from President Andrew Jackson; but as he was only 13, the 
commission was dated a year ahead. He entered in June, 1831, 
at the age of 14, and graduated in 1835, at the age of 18, in a 
class with General George G. Meade and others who became dis 
tinguished in the civil war. 

Of that early class of fifty-six members, there are no sur 
vivors except General Haupt, and in the entire list of graduates 
of the United States Military Academy the only senior is General 
Thomas A. Morris (1834) of Indianapolis, Ind. 

In the fall of 1835 he resigned his commission in the army to 



become assistant engineer, under H. R. Campbell, in surveying a 
railroad from Nbrristown to Allentown, in Pennsylvania, and 
subsequently in locating the Norristown & Valley Railroad. 

For many years the State of Pennsylvania built, owned and 
managed railways and canals, and in 1836, although only 19, 
Haupt was appointed principal assistant in the service of the State, 
and, as such, located a railroad from Gettysburg across South 
Mountain to the Potomac now a part of the Western Maryland 

In 1838, on becoming 21, he was married to Miss Ann Ce 
cilia, daughter of his pastor, Rev. Benjamin Keller, of Gettysburg. 
A lively, cheerful and accomplished woman, she shared his for 
tunes for fifty-three years and became the mother of eleven chil 
dren, of whom Professor Lewis M. Haupt, formerly of the Univer 
sity of Pennsylvania, and now a member of the Isthmian Canal 
Commission, is the third son. 


In 184:0 he was engaged to aid in the construction of the York 
& Wrightsville Railroad an event which ultimately was the means 
of developing the magnificent possibilities of railway and bridge 
construction which have since astonished the world. 

On this road were a number of lattice bridges for which the 
plans had been prepared previously, and the timbers already or 

Young Haupt deemed them too weak for the duty they were 
designed to perform and at once sought advice from all the promi 
nent engineers of the country as to the proper mode of calculating 
the strength of a trussed bridge. 

He was astonished to find that, with one exception,* not an 
engineer in the United States, or in the world, so far as he could 
discover, ever attempted to calculate the strength of a truss except 
in a triangular system. The members were generally all of the 
same dimensions; the counter-brace was either unknown or its 

* NOTE. Benj. II. Latrobe, of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, appeared to 
calculate the strains upon his bridges, but his structures were simple triangular 
systems in which pressure at the apex was transmitted in the direction of the two 
sides to the base the abutments or other points of resistance, as in the Fink and 
Bollman trusses in which the problem was solved by the parallelogram of forces. 



office not understood, and the fact that there were vastly different 
strains at different points of the same system was generally unrec 


Unwilling to admit that the problem could not be solved, he 
continued to search for the laws governing the transmission of 
strains and to attempt to originate formula by which strain sheets 
could be calculated and the strength of any truss, however com 
plicated, might be accurately determined. 

Being in a country town, without books of reference or access 
to scientific apparatus, he was compelled to evolve his own formu- 
Ise and invent his own modes of experimentation. 

Commencing with experiments on the resistance of timbers, 
he discovered that the strains could be represented by the ordinates 
of conic sections, which led to a new but simple mode of obtaining 
formulae and determining strains on beams in all possible posi 
tions. He then experimented with models of his own design and 
construction, and took observations on bridges during the passage 
of trains until certain conclusions which he had reached were so 
well established that he published, anonymously, in 1841, a 
pamphlet entitled, "Hints on Bridge Construction," which at 
tracted much attention and led to some controversy. 

On completing the York & Wrightsville Koad, General 
Haupt was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Engineering 
in Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg. In 1844 he began the 
preparation of a general text-book on civil engineering, but, on 
reaching the subject of bridges, abandoned everything for the pur 
pose of renewing his previous attempt to solve the very important 
problem of calculating the strains in this class of structures. 


Having acquired a greater profundity in general mathematics, 
and being strengthened by added years and experience, he was able 
to solve riddles which before had baffled him. In due time he had 
ready the manuscript of the noted work which finally reached all 
civilized countries "General Theory of Bridge Construction." 

For five years, however, he was unable to get his book before 
the public, because he could find no engineer capable of reviewing 


it and no publisher who dared to put it forth the manuscript be 
ing generally returned without any comment for or against it. In 
1851 D. Appleton & Co. undertook its publication, and were re 
warded with its prompt success. The volume met a very general 
want, and its sales were large. 

This pioneer work became a text-book in schools and colleges, 
and Professor Gillespie, of Union College, wrote to Haupt from 
London reporting the strong terms of commendation with which it 
was received by Robert Stephenson and his associates. 

From that time engineers began to calculate strain sheets and 
distribute material properly to meet the varying requirements of 
self-supporting pendant structures, without which the marvelous 
achievements of engineering science, as exemplified throughout the 
world to-day, would have been impossible. 

As, beyond question, transportation is the chief of the basic 
elements of civilization, Mr. Haupt belongs in the front rank of 
the most distinguished benefactors of mankind. 


In 1846 the Pennsylvania Railroad was chartered. Haupt 
applied to President Samuel V. Merrick for a position with the 
company, but was told that engineers were as plentiful as black 
berries and that there were scores of applicants for every open 
position, so he returned to Gettysburg. 

John Edgar Thomson had been appointed Chief Engineer, 
with Edward Miller associate on the Western, and William B. 
Foster on the Eastern Division. Foster had been a canal en 
gineer, and filled his division with his old assistants, who knew 
little or nothing about railroads. The consequence was that after 
the location of sixty miles of the Juniata Division, the chief en 
gineer walked over the line and decided that an entire revision 
must be made before construction could begin, although the con 
tractors had built shanties and were ready to commence wor. 

In this dilemma he sent for Mr. Haupt, who accepted the posi 
tion offered, and not only relocated the entire division without de 
laying the work, but effected great improvement in the line and a 
large reduction in cost. 

His leisure hours were still devoted to the study of bridge 


problems. One day he was surprised by a visit from Chief En 
gineer Thomson. It was the first appearance of that officer, and 
on a very cold day in the winter of 1848. After he had become 
sufficiently thawed out to turn his head, he discovered the model of 
a bridge truss resting on two chairs and loaded with weights. 

With a smile he remarked: "Some fellow has been trying 
to make a bridge and don t know anything about it. He has got 
his braces in the wrong way." 

Ilaupt replied: "Excuse me, Mr. Thomson, if I presume to 
differ from you. I think they have been put in the right way. 
They are not braces, but counter-braces. It is a model of a coun 
ter-braced arch." 

Proceeding to explain the model and the results of his in 
vestigations, for about an hour he gave, in fact, a lecture on bridge 
construction, during which Mr. Thomson was a very attentive 
listener, occasionally nodding, or giving an expression of acquies 
cence as some new point was made which met his approval. 

After the bridge explanation was finished the railroad maps 
were examined and much gratification expressed over the improve 
ments made, and Ilaupt was immediately promoted to principal 

On Mr. Thomson s return to Harrisburg he sent to Ilaupt a 
large roll of the bridge plans that had been prepared for the road, 
with a line in pencil : "I would like to have your opinion about 

The opinions were given, merits and defects being pointed out 
in writing, and the roll returned. As a result another assistant 
was sent at once to relieve Ilaupt, who was ordered to report at 
Harrisburg to assume the important duties of examining and criti 
cising the plans of location and construction from all parts of the 
line and suggesting necessary changes. 


When the first division approached completion, Haupt was 
selected as General Superintendent and directed to visit the princi 
pal roads of New England for the purpose of examining their sys 
tems of accounts, plans of organization, snowplows, machinery, 
and everything connected with the operation of a road. 


On his return he submitted a plan of organization and man 
agement, with forms and blanks for every branch of the business, 
which was adopted without change, and which, modified to meet 
subsequent new conditions and features in transportation, is in use 
to this day on what is generally regarded as the best-managed rail 
way property in the world. 

Haupt at once urged upon the Board of Directors the policy 
of developing the local business of the line, especially in coal, 
lumber, iron and agricultural products, by reduced rates during 
the season when, from the close of navigation on the Ohio, the 
equipment was not fully employed. 

Up to this time the impression prevailed that nothing could 
be carried on a railroad without loss that did not pay over 2 cents 
per ton per mile. 

To settle this question Haupt made a careful analysis of the 
business of the preceding year, classifying the fixed and variable 
items and the extent to which cost would be affected by volume of 
transportation. He demonstrated that, if the volume were in 
creased to a million tons per year, as it could be by proper encour 
agement of local traffic, the cost per ton-mile would be reduced to 
six mills from points east and seven mills from points west of the 

This was the first careful and scientific analysis published, 
or perhaps made, of the cost of railway transportation, which was 
subsequently elaborated by Albert Fink, A. M. Wellington and 

It caused much astonishment and the declaration that by 
proper encouragement the freight business of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad could be increased to a million tons was regarded as the 
utterance of a visionary enthusiast. 

Ultimately, however, Haupt saw his plan of encouraging 
local industries fully adopted and never abandoned, and the extra 
million tons of freight which he advocated as a certainty in the 
near future was very soon added, and then multiplied over and 
over again more than fifty times. 

* NOTE. See 4th and 5th Annual Reports of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 
1851-1852 ; also his final report on retiring from the office of General Superintendent, 
pages 81-85. 


On January 15, 1852, he submitted a series of papers oppos 
ing the policy of a State tax on railroad traffic to sustain the public 
canals, and also an analysis of the increased cost of conducting 
transportation due to enforced connections with State improve 
ments (canals and railways) and the conflicting schedules of the 
two interests. 

In the Sixth Annual Report, H. J. Lombaert, his successor, 
said: "During the greater portion of the year (1852) the opera 
tions of the road were conducted under the direction of H. Haupt, 
late General Superintendent, to whose ability and success the re 
sults of the present and preceding years 7 operations abundantly 
testify, and to whom no one will more readily, than your present 
Superintendent, award all the credit." 

On page 32, ei seq., of the Seventh Annual Report of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. Mr. Haupt says: "To secure a traffic of 
1,000,000 tons and make the road an instrument of incalculable 
good to the citizens of the State, low rates, with moderate divi 
dends,, must indicate the settled policy upon which the operations 
are to be conducted." 

The entire report is to-day as remarkable for wisdom and 
foresight as it was when made, almost a half-century ago, when 
railway management was crude, unscientific and haphazard. In 
fact, if the policy advocated by Haupt had been adopted and ad 
hered to, the Pennsylvania Railroad would have been out of debt 
years ago and kept out, and would be now altogether the most eco 
nomical artificial freight-carrier of great proportions in the world. 

Soon after he became General Superintendent his efforts to 
unify and classify rates resulted in a meeting of trunk-line presi 
dents and other officials at the St. Nicholas Hotel, in New York. 
In this, the first meeting of the kind ever held in America, Mr. 
Haupt took the initiative in effecting an organization, bringing on 
discussion and coming to conclusions. Similar meetings were held 
afterwards and resulted in mutually valuable understandings. 

In 1853 he notified the Board of Directors, who had twice 
declined to receive his resignation, that he had accepted the position 
of Chief Engineer of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi, and v 
that his connection with the company would terminate at a given 
date. He recommended that Herman J. Lombaert, his assistant, 


be made his successor, and Thomas A. Scott, then agent at Holli- 
daysburg, be appointed Assistant Superintendent, which selections 
were ratified. 

This promotion enabled Colonel Scott, some years after, to 
succeed to the presidency of the Kailroad Company, and to live in 
history as one of the great railway managers of the country. 

The location of the Southern Railroad occupied about six 
months, when Mr. Haupt was recalled to take the position of Chief 
Engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which he retained until 
the completion and opening of the whole line to Pittsburg, includ 
ing the Allegheny Mountain tunnel. 

He was also elected by the councils of Philadelphia as a di 
rector of the company to represent the stock held by the city a 
very distinguished mark of confidence and respect. 


We now come to a very important and interesting portion of 
Mr. Haupt s career, which involves his fortune and reputation, the 
honor and integrity of the State of Massachusetts, and an account 
of the vicissitudes of constructing the great railway tunnel through 
the Hoosac Mountain. 

In 1855, while Chief Engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
and director of that company for the City of Philadelphia, he was 
requested to make an examination of the proposed Hoosac tunnel, 
on the line of the Troy & Greenfield Railroad, in Massachusetts, 
and give his opinion as to its practicability. He reported favor 
ably and, after much solicitation, was prevailed upon to take an 
interest in the contract for its construction and assist in raising 
$100,000 as additional capital a portion of which came from his 
associates in the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

The contract was for $4,000,000. The State of Massachu 
setts had agreed to loan its credit to the extent of $2,000,000 ; the 
company had made an issue of $900,000 in bonds and was to pro 
vide, from town and individual subscriptions, a liberal amount of 
additional cash. 

The contract was signed in 1856, when he resigned from the 
Pennsylvania Railroad and began a vigorous prosecution of the 
work. As soon as it became apparent that the tunnel was in good 



hands and would probably be carried to completion at an early 
date, thus opening a parallel and rival line to the Boston & Albany 
Railroad, a persistent series of violent attacks was made upon the 
company and its contractors and especially upon Mr. Haupt. 

Articles were published in most of the leading papers to create 
an adverse public sentiment. In them the tunnel was described as 
a visionary and impracticable scheme, the contractors were de 
nounced as swindlers, the subscribers to the stock were warned 
against liquidating their subscriptions and assured that the com 
pany had no power to enforce payment. 

When the editors of papers which had made these attacks were 
summoned before investigating committees, the articles were al 
most invariably traced to Springfield, and to parties in the employ 
or under the influence of Chester W. Chapin, president of the Bos 
ton & Albany, then known as the Western Railroad Company. 
The articles had the effect, notwithstanding this exposure of their 
origin, of exciting hostile legislation, of embarrassing the tunnel 
company, of stopping the collection of subscriptions and of pre 
venting the contractors from securing regularly the State payments 
for work upon which they had relied. The object of these move 
ments was transparent; it was to kill the tunnel project by ruining 
the contractors. 

But these unjust and wicked attacks only served to stimulate 
Mr. Haupt to increased exertions. Unable to secure any aid what 
ever from the railroad company of which the tunnel formed a part, 
he mortgaged his own large property in the State of Pennsylvania, 
sold stocks and borrowed money from personal friends and kept 
the work going until the financial crash occurred in 1857. 

At this time he himself was carrying a floating debt of about 
$200,000. With the exception of $67,000, he had provided all the 
capital required to carry on the work. Not a dollar had been paid 
by the company, or any other party in Massachusetts ; three of his 
partners had failed, and the remaining one could render no assist 

Their failure impaired his hitherto gilt-edge credit. Dis 
counts were refused, and he was forced to take up more than 
$20,000 of the paper of the discredited parties that already had 
been discounted. 



In this emergency a friend in Philadelphia (Alexander J. 
Derbyshire) a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, unsolicited 
and without security, providentially placed $30,000 to Mr. Haupt s 
credit, refusing to accept more than 6 per cent, interest, although 
money was worth 1J to 2 per cent, and even more per month. 

This timely loan enabled him to so far complete the work re 
quired by the onerous conditions of the Massachusetts statute as to 
entitle him to the first payment of $100,000 from the State; and, 
after a severe contest, in which every obstacle, legal and otherwise, 
was interposed to prevent it, the Executive Council decided that 
the money had been fairly earned and ordered the payment to be 

After this, the work progressed without embarrassment until 
I860. The payments by the State had strengthened Mr. Haupt s 
credit, and he was again able to procure the necessary bank accom 
modations. When the Legislature met, an investigation was or 
dered at the suggestion of hostile parties, and a committee appoint 
ed, supposed to be unfriendly, with power to send for persons and 

After a protracted investigation the committee turned com 
pletely in his favor, and reported a bill, in the preparation of which 
he had largely assisted,* which placed the work on a sure basis, 
expunged the onerous and unnecessary features of the original loan 
act and, had it not been repealed subsequently, would have carried 
the tunnel to completion in about six years without costing the 
commonwealth one cent, either for principal or interest. The 
principal had been provided for by annual accretions to a sinking 
fund, and the interest was payable by the tunnel company. 

The committee, after a thorough examination of the con 
tractors and of their books, papers and superintendents, became 
convinced that the tunnel was actually costing only about $40 per 
running foot, and that an allowance of $50 per foot, or $1,250,000 
for the whole tunnel, was sufficient to insure its completion with 

* NOTE. Amos B. Merrill, a lawyer of ability and a member of the com 
mittee, intimated to a mutual friend that he really wanted to know the exact truth 
in regard to the ceaseless charges that Haupt was a scoundrel and swindling the 
commonwealth. Haupt sent word to him that if he would come to his hotel he 
might see the record of every transaction pertaining to the contract. He went, 
with the result that he promptly changed front and, assisted by Haupt, drafted the 
bill above mentioned, which set the wheels of the great work to turning again. 


the dimensions prescribed by statute, and they divided the loan 
(of $2,000,000) so as to apportion $750,000 to aid in the construc 
tion of the thirty miles of road between the tunnel and Greenfield. 

These statements may seem very extraordinary in the face of 
the fact that, when the State of Massachusetts, in 1862, took pos 
session of the work and undertook to finish it under direction of her 
commissioners, fourteen years of time and an expenditure of more 
than twenty millions in money were required for its completion, 
but they are literally true. 

The bill of 1860 became a law with the approval of Governor 
1ST. P. Banks, and, had he remained in office one year more, the 
work would have been so far advanced that further efforts to ham 
per or destroy it would have had no prospect of success. 

But, unfortunately for all, and especially for the common 
wealth, Governor Banks declined a renomination and, upon leaving 
office in 1861, omitted by sheer accident to sign the order for the 
payment of the tunnel estimate. His successor, John A. Andrew, 
refused to sign the order, and expressed want of confidence in the 
State Engineer and dissatisfaction with the contractors. 

As Mr. Haupt enjoyed the entire confidence of the Executive 
Council, the position of the Governor gave its members much em 
barrassment, but they passed the order for the payment of the esti 
mate notwithstanding his objections. The Governor then asked 
the State Engineer to resign. He declined to do so, and was re 
moved and a new engineer nominated to succeed him. 

Mr. Haupt, being a member of the Board of Visitors, was at 
West Point at the time, where he received a telegram from a mem 
ber of the Council informing him of the nomination and stating 
that, if unsatisfactory, the Council would refuse to confirm. He 
replied: "Make no opposition. I can get along with any en 
gineer who is competent and honest." 

The nomination of Engineer Whitwell was confirmed, but be 
fore proceeding to an examination of the work, he visited Spring 
field, where, as testimony subsequently proved, he remained for a 
day or two in conference with officers of the Boston & Albany 
Road, at whose suggestion, as was afterwards understood, he had 
been appointed. 

Members of the Council had urgently requested the Governor, 


before assuming a hostile attitude, to send for Mr. Haupt and 
ascertain the actual condition of affairs. This he refused to do. 
He desired no personal interview, wanted no new facts, and per 
sistently adhered to what was really a position of unrelieved dis 

Upon examining the estimates the new engineer could find 
no errors in the calculations. He then said that the questions at 
issue could not be decided by mere figures. He must "exercise 
judgment !" He must protect the State, he said, and arbitrarily 
deducted nearly $100,000 from the amount due for work done and 
materials delivered under his predecessor. 

Mr. Haupt was then rapidly delivering rails under contract* 
with the Rensselaer Iron Works, and deprivation of earned pay 
ments meant ruin. He therefore suspended work and appealed to 
the Governor and Council. A committee of three was appointed, 
who, after three weeks of thorough investigation, reported that the 
State Engineer had transcended his authority; that his acts had 
been in violation of the good faith of the State that had been 
pledged to the enterprise, and reported an order to require him to 
revise his estimates. 

Governor Andrew refused to put the question on this order to- 
vote. The Council then prepared a written protest against the 
arbitrary and absolutely unfair action of the Governor, signed by 
all of the members except one, and asked to have it inserted in the 
official minutes. The Governor refused to permit the protest to go- 
into the minutes, and it reached the people as a part of a smudgy 
chapter in Massachusetts history by publication in The Boston 

Nothing more could be done until the meeting of the Legisla 
ture, when a joint special committee of investigation was appointed, 
consisting of seven members from the House and three from the 
Senate. The opponents of the tunnel made great efforts to secure 
an adverse report from the committee, employing ex-Governor Geo. 
S. Boutwell as counsel, but the report, after several months of pro 
tracted investigation, was unanimously in Haupt s favor. 

It not only reaffirmed the decisions of the committee of the 
Executive Council and censured the State Engineer, but reported a 
bill which reinstated the contractors in possession of the work and 


appropriated $150,000 to compensate them for damages caused by 
tlie entirely wrongful suspension. 

Governor Andrew was more than ever incensed at this sweep 
ing report, and announced a determination to veto the bill if it 
passed, as well as any other tunnel bill, unless it should be one that 
would take the work out of Haupt s hands; but he signified a 
willingness to approve an act to put the work under charge of State 

This suggestion pleased those who wanted the tunnel. They 
begged llaupt to make no resistance to the wishes of the Governor ; 
that justice would be done to him at some time, though not then. 
"Let the State get her foot into it," they said, "so that she cannot 
back out, and then we will see that your interests are protected." 

He asked if the State could not then reimburse his personal 
expenditures with simple interest. The answer was : "No ! If 
a single dollar is put into the bill for your relief, the Governor will 
veto it. We will put in a sum to pay the sub-contractors and land 
owners, and we will extend the right of redemption to ten years, 
but that is all." 

He replied that such extension would be valueless ; that while 
he could finish the tunnel in six years, the State would not do it in 
ten, and the right would expire unused. Jonathan E. Field 
(brother to Cyrus W. Field and to Justice Stephen J. Field, of the 
United States Supreme Court), chairman of the Railroad Com 
mittee, said : "We will make the time sufficient. I will make it 
ten years from the completion of the tunnel," to which Haupt add 
ed, "and the opening of the same for use," which was accepted. 

Haupt then stated that there was another condition of far 
greater importance, without which he could not accept the act. It 
had been proved that, in his hands, the two-million loan would be 
sufficient to complete the tunnel, but Haupt s experience with State 
work in Pennsylvania led him to apprehend that the cost under 
public management would be greatly increased, and might be ex 
tended to four or five millions, in which case he would be unable 
to redeem. A provision was therefore inserted that all expendi 
tures made and to be made for which the company should be held 
responsible in the exercise of the right of redemption, should not 
exceed $2,000,000. 


The bill passed and was accepted by the stockholders. Com 
missioners were appointed, and, after fourteen years of time and 
the expenditure of over $20,000,000 in cash, as already stated, the 
tunnel was completed and opened for use. 

During this time Haupt made repeated efforts to secure the 
repayment of his advances, but the tunnel commissioners opposed 
any legislation to this end. All attempts were unavailing. The 
commissioners condemned the work generally, altered the plans, 
and missed no opportunity to inflict damage upon him, personally 
and professionally, apparently with a view to defend and justify 
the hostile action of Governor Andrew, although, at the same time, 
they were inflicting millions of losses upon the State. 

At the time of the passage of the Act of 1862 no one ques 
tioned the existence of the Hoosac Tunnel Company s right of 
redemption under the general statute. No movement could be 
made, however, looking to redemption until the tunnel was com 
plete. An application was made to the Legislature, after that 
event, for the appointment of a commission to determine the 
amount to be paid. The Attorney-General appeared in opposition 
and argued that no legislation was required, as "a perfect remedy 
existed in the courts." 

The rejection of this petition forced Haupt to employ counsel 
and bring suit in the Supreme Judicial Court. He had the best 
lawyers in Pennsylvania, New York and Boston. Amongst them 
were Joseph H. Choate, E. Bockwood Hoar, John C. Bullitt, Sam 
uel Dickson and D. W. Gooch, who considered the case perfect, 
both in law and equity, and regarded the jurisdiction of the court 
as unquestionable, and filed a bill. 

The Attorney-General, to the surprise of all, now denied the 
jurisdiction of those courts, and, what was more astonishing, 
pleaded the sovereignty of the commonwealth as a bar to the en 
forcement of any judgment on a contract into which the State 
had deliberately entered. 

Although such a course seemed impossible, the court sustained 
the demurrer of the commonwealth and dismissed the bill. 

Thereafter for years all of Haupt s applications to the Legis 
lature to obtain justice were unavailing. At last, however, the 
time arrived when the people of Massachusetts became dissatisfied 


with the annual losses of the Hoosac Tunnel under State manage 
ment, and clamored for the sale of the property ; but no purchaser 
could be found so long as the right of redemption remained un 

If the property should pass out of the hands of the State to 
a party not protected by the shield of sovereignty which had been 
raised up to escheat her creditors, suit could be brought by Haupt 
and the property recovered. Necessity, therefore, compelled some 
settlement, and a bill was passed in 1884 authorizing the Governor 
and Council to liquidate the claims, if it could be done not on a 
basis of justice, but on terms satisfactory to themselves. 

Mr. Haupt had interviews with Governor Robinson and the 
State Treasurer, presenting statements showing that the expendi 
tures of private parties in excess of the sums that had been advanced 
by the State, and including payments due for work done, amount 
ed, with simple interest, to about $1,400,000. At the last inter 
view the Governor said : "I will not deny that great injustice has 
been done to you; but it was not my administration that did it, 
and I am not responsible. Further, I may as well be perfectly 
frank, and say that I do not propose to make any settlement that 
I cannot justify as a good bargain for the people of Massachu 
setts !" 

The Governor also stated that interest did not run against a 
State, and, whether Haupt had borrowed money at 6 or at 20 per 
cent, to carry on the tunnel work, no part of it should be refunded. 
He finally offered $300,000, to be paid to the Troy & Greenfield 
Railroad Company upon the transfer and surrender of all capital 
stock. If not accepted, he would refer the matter back to the Leg 
islature and have no more to do with it. 

There was therefore no redress. The ultimatum of the Gov 
ernor had to be accepted. After paying counsel and some small 
debts of the company, only $200,000 remained. This was divid 
ed among all the stockholders, giving the contractors, H. Haupt & 
Co., eight cents on the dollar for stock they had been compelled to 
accept at par in payment for work done and materials furnished. 

For twenty years Haupt paid interest on debts contracted in 
consequence of expenditures of which Massachusetts received the 
benefit, but he secured no reimbursement absolutely not a cent 


and in consequence lost the fine coal lands and other property in 
Pennsylvania which he had mortgaged in order to prevent "the 
generous and opulent old commonwealth, whose honor is untar 
nished and whose financial credit is unsurpassed/ 7 from wrecking* 
her own enterprise! 

Not only so, but at one period of the contest he became so 
straightened, financially, that Mrs. Haupt was compelled to pawn 
some of her jewels (though her husband was not aware of it) to 
help keep the family pot boiling. 

A remarkable feature of this great tunnel controversy, so 
unprecedented in the history of any State, was the single-handed 
courage and ability with which Mr. Haupt fought his side of the 
battle during two-thirds of a generation, never losing a point be 
fore bodies in which integrity, intelligence, fairness and facts were 
permitted to control decisions. He never employed an attorney 
or was assisted by counsel until the end, when the matter was 
taken to the Supreme Court. 

During the numerous and protracted hearings and investiga 
tions which characterized the contest, the enemies of the tunnel 
summoned nearly all of the engineers in Massachusetts and several 
from other States, who, of course, knew what was wanted of them. 
Haupt summoned none but, although strenuous efforts were made 
to deprive him of that privilege, he was permitted to cross-examine 
all witnesses. 

Besides being confessedly one of the most learned and able 
engineers of his time, he had enjoyed practically the limit of en 
gineering experience in canals, bridges, viaducts, railways, tun 
nels, highways and all forms of topographical and constructive 
work. He was thus able, almost invariably, to confuse his oppo 
nents, and sometimes to cover them with extreme ridicule. 

At the time of the suspension of tunnel work in 1861, Mr. 
Haupt had made great progress in rock-drilling machinery, and 

* NOTE. "It affords me much gratification to be able to state," wrote General 
Haupt in 1889, "that a short time before his death Governor Andrew admitted to 
General William Raymond Lee, a mutual friend, that he had made a mistake in his 
Hoosac tunnel policy, and had done me personally great injustice. The acknowl 
edgment disarmed the resentment I had felt for the long and unmerited persecu 
tion which followed me to Washington, disturbed my friendly relations with Secre 
tary Stanton and led to my retirement in the fall of 1863 from the position of 
Director of Military Railroads, as the records will show." 


had developed a machine that was far in advance of the perforator 
at work in the Mont Cenis tunnel at the same time. This drill 
was improved by a Mr. Taylor, in the employ of J. A. McKean, 
who represented Mr. Haupt in Europe, and accomplished more 
rapid progress at less expense for repair than any drill used in the 
St. Gothard tunnel or elsewhere in the Old World; but Haupt 
never received any royalties er other compensation for its use. 

Mr. Haupt s supreme knowledge of engineering principles, 
his great energy and experience, his genius for inventing more 
efficient rock-drilling and other machinery, and his tact and econ 
omy in the management of men, if he had not been harassed and 
circumvented by Governor Andrew and other officials of Massa 
chusetts, would have resulted in completing the tunnel without a 
cent of cost to the State. As it was, the State, in the end, sold to 
the Fitchburg Kailroad for $7,000,000 a work which had cost $20,- 

This somewhat extended notice of Mr. Haupt s long and dis 
astrous battle with Massachusetts seems necessary, particularly 
because the contest was the means of depriving the Federal Gov 
ernment of the services, in the hour of her greatest peril during 
the civil war, of a military railway builder and transportation 
manager whose achievements stand in history unsurpassed to this 


In April, 1862, after the report of the investigating com 
mittee had been made and when the legislative contest was at a 
crisis, Mr. Haupt was called to Washington by an urgent tele 
gram from Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. Being prom 
ised by the chairman of the joint committee that his interests 
should be safeguarded, he proceeded at once to Washington and 
began, with that extraordinary energy which characterized all his 
movements, to rescue the railways and transportation service of 
the Federal armies from the apparently irretrievable chaos into 
which they had fallen. 

Thus began the army career so modestly and concisely told 
in the story which forms the main body of this volume, and which 
gives to General Haupt his undying place in history. 

Stanton, who was a man of enormous comprehension and 


energy of action, well knew what he was doing when he sent for 
Ilaupt to take charge of the military railways of the United States. 
He had frequently met him and felt his powers in the long series 
of railway and canal litigation which he had conducted in Penn 
sylvania, when Haupt was Chief Engineer or General Superin 
tendent and director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and under- 
s^ood both his accomplishments and experience and his high order 
of native ability. 

He knew that Haupt was among the very foremost engineers 
of his time an organizer of large enterprises, a manager of big 
railroads and a man of probity, fearlessness and persistence, as 
well as an accomplished graduate of the Military Academy at West 

He therefore bestowed unlimited authority upon his new ap 
pointee, which was used with supreme energy, abundant success 
and the best of judgment. 

In order to obey the call of his country, which he served with 
all his might without compensation, Mr. Haupt left his fortunes 
and professional reputation in jeopardy in Massachusetts, where 
he was not only plucked and skinned, but drawn and quartered. 


His financial and professional sacrifices on the altar of patri 
otism, great as they were, did not equal his services to the Union 
cause, and there are two pictures of his operations in the army 
which should be written in words of ever-living light on the most 
brilliant page of American history. At the second battle of Man- 
assas (Bull Run), a few miles south of Washington, in August, 
1862, in which General Pope and his handful of beleaguered fight 
ers were left in the lurch before Stonewall Jackson s fiery army by 
McClellan and other Generals of the Army of the Potomac, who 
stood near in idleness with large bodies of veteran troops, Haupt 
for the time was President, Secretary of War, General-in-Chief, 
Chief Commissary and Chief of Transportation. 

Night and day for several days, with little food and less sleep, 
he was going from place to place, and General to General, rebuild 
ing bridges, forwarding refugees, telegraphing to the President, 
discovering the enemy, bringing away and caring for the wounded, 
advancing supplies and munitions and planning succor for Pope. 


For days and nights he was among the chief men in the quak 
ing republic, but he used all his authority and all his energies for 
no purpose except to prevent still greater disaster to the Union 

When he returned to Washington the Cabinet was in session 
in the War Office. 

"Come in, Haupt," shouted Secretary Stanton. 

As he entered Stanton rushed forward, held him with both 
hands, thanked him in the presence of the President and Cabinet, 
addressed him as General and, on the following day, sent him a 
brigadier s commission. 


In the terrific crash at Gettysburg he was even more supreme, 
and his services were beyond the power of formal estimation. His 
old classmate, General George G. Meade, like himself a Pennsyl- 
vanian, had just been placed in command to fight in defense of his 
native soil. Biit Meade did not know how his own forces were 
distributed nor the whereabouts or movements of the enemy under 

Haupt, as skilled in military strategy as any, perfectly fa 
miliar with every rood of ground in that section, and determined 
that Lee should be permitted to march no further into the ISTorth, 
came to the rescue. On foot, on horseback and on locomotive he 
raced about until he had located and counted the forces of the 
enemy ; correctly divined the objects of the swift and sudden move 
ments of Lee, which had been inexplicable to the Federal com 
manders; concluded that Gettysburg was to be the point of con 
centration of the enemy, and by courier and telegraph fully in 
formed Meade and the authorities at Washington of the entire situ 

This had been barely accomplished when Lee opened the awful 
slaughter in which there were 55,000 killed, wounded and missing, 
with a dash and determination rarely equaled and never excelled. 

The Confederates were met by a fire as deadly as their own, 
and while, for three days, the battle raged back and forth through 
Gettysburg, around the home which he had erected for his bride 
and where his children were born, Haupt was repairing bridges, 


restoring broken railways, removing the wounded and pouring 
stores and munitions upon the field at such a rate that at the close 
of the contest there was enough on hand, as stated by the Chief 
Quartermaster, General Rufus Ingalls, to supply the army for 
nearly a week in advance. 

Not only so, but so ceaseless had been his energy day and night 
and so comprehensive his plans that, the second day after the close 
of the fight all the railway and telegraph lines which Lee had been 
continually destroying were restored and in working order to 
Washington and to Baltimore, although nineteen bridges had been 
broken on the Northern Central Railroad and several others on 
the branches. 

Great as had been his usefulness, his important labors were 
not ended. Believing that Lee, out of forage and heavy ammuni 
tion, with his communications broken, was in a trap and could be 
captured with his shattered and hungry army en masse, Haupt, on 
the morning after Lee s retreat, sought Meade at headquarters to 
explain the situation and urge him to strike the final blow of the 
w r ar. 

When he found that Meade was afraid or unwilling to under 
take to pursue his advantage over Lee, Haupt jumped on a loco 
motive at midnight of Sunday and rushed away to Washington. 
Before breakfast he had made known at the capital the true condi 
tions at Gettysburg and urged the authorities to compel Meade to 
move, to pursue, to strike and capture Lee. 

He then hastened his little engine back to Gettysburg, expect 
ing the orders from Washington would be obeyed, and desiring to 
be there to help ; but Meade did not move and Lee escaped, to the 
great disappointment of Lincoln, Stanton and Halleck, and the still 
greater disappointment and grief of General Haupt. 

If Meade had acted, or if anyone had thought to place Haupt 
in command on Sunday, July 5, 1863, Lee would doubtless have 
been captured and the Rebellion ended. 


In the meantime, as opportunity offered, Haupt had been 
prodding away to save property tied up in the Hoosac tunnel, very 
much to the annoyance of Governor Andrew, who, apparently, had 


undertaken the entire destruction of the contractor, but who, thus 
far, had been worsted in every bout, even the committees which 
had been packed against Haupt turning and reporting in his favor. 

Governor Andrew was intensely hostile to slavery and a furi 
ous and effective supporter of the war. He was ceaseless in his 
efforts to raise men and money ; so, when he went to Washington 
and demanded that General Haupt be compelled to live up to the 
technical terms of his commission as Brigadier-General, which 
would have kept him away from Boston and the Massachusetts 
Legislature, Secretary Stanton was compelled to yield. 

Stanton could do nothing without the active and hearty sup 
port of the loyal Governors of the North, of whom Andrew was a 
leader. It was Haupt or Massachusetts, and Stanton, of course, 
promptly chose Massachusetts.* 

For some years subsequent to the war, General Haupt fol 
lowed his profession of consulting engineer in Pennsylvania. In 
1867 he visited Europe on the invitation of the Royal Polytechnic 
Society of Cornwall, to explain his system of mining and tunneling 
by power machinery. 

One of the rock drills invented by him for use in the Hoosac 
tunnel, and which was the type of those used in driving through 
the great St. Gothard tunnel with so much rapidity, was on exhi 
bition and received the highest honors awarded by the society. 

* NOTE. Inquiring minds may wonder whether Governor Andrew could 
assume, promptly on taking office and maintain for years, such an intense, special 
and officially active hostility against Haupt without some reason. There were rea 
sons, of course, but they had no relation whatever to Haupt. 

One of his closest and most influential friends was Frank Bird, a large paper 
manufacturer of Walpole. Bird was largely under the influence of Daniel Harris, 
President of the Connecticut Valley Railroad who, in turn, together with his little 
railroad, was dominated by Chester W. Chapin, President of the Western Railway. 

As stated hereinbefore, Chapin was desperately anxious to kill the Hoosac 
tunnel project because, on its completion, it would open up the Troy & Greenfield 
Railway as a carrying line parallel and rival to .his own. Besides, Andrew had a 
reason of his own for fighting Haupt entirely personal. On leaving office, Gov 
ernor N. P. Banks, his predecessor, delivered an elaborate valedictory. As valedic 
tories were unusual, this unexpected performance, covering the leading features of 
the onsweeping rebellion, took nearly all the wind out of Governor Andrew s 
inaugural sails, at the very last moment, which embarrassed and angered him 

Governor Banks, pressed by more duties than he could perform at the last 
moment, lost sight of Haupt & Company s order for $100,000, money previously 
earned and formally allowed, and failed to sign it. 

Although such action was like "swearing a seal off the record," Andrew 
refused to sign the order, thus making a double play hitting Banks, whom he 
disliked, and pleasing his friend Bird, the agent of Chapin, Harris and the Western 
Railway Company. 


In 1870 he made an examination and report upon wood pave 
ments, with experiments in Boston in preservative processes. The 
report was unfavorable and the processes were abandoned. Dur 
ing the same year he also reported upon and located the Shenan- 
doah Valley Railroad, which was subsequently built. 

In 1874 John Edgar Thomson, President of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad, urged the appointment of General Haupt as Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Southern Railway Security Company, in which the 
Pennsylvania Company had a very large stock interest. That 
office was not created, but in lieu thereof he was appointed General 
Manager and director of the Richmond & Danville system, which 
extended from Richmond, Ya., to Atlanta, Ga., with its connec 
tions and branches. In this position he prepared the plan for 
organizing the Southern Railway and Steamship Association, 
which was adopted. He was named as pool commissioner, but de 
clined, when Albert Fink accepted the position. He continued as 
General Manager until the death of President Thomson. 


In 1878 he was employed by the Pennsylvania Transporta 
tion Company to investigate and report upon the practicability of 
constructing a pipe line for the transportation of crude petroleum 
from the wells in the Allegheny Valley to tidewater. 

After procuring data from the various local pipe lines to 
determine the discharges under given pressures and thus obtain 
data for the main line, he concluded that the successful operation of 
a line hundreds of miles in length over high altitudes and through 
low valleys would require a number of pumping stations so located 
with reference to the topography of the country that the work of 
the plants would be equal, and that such governors or other mechan 
ical devices must be introduced as would compel the pumps of the 
several stations to work synchronously and regulate each other 
automatically. Also, that provision must be made for expansion 
of so long a line of pipes over a rugged profile. 

These apparently difficult problems were satisfactorily solved 
by him, a favorable report submitted, and the work begun. 

This project naturally provoked the active hostility of the 
Standard Oil Company, and of all the trunk line railroads. Henry 


Harley, the head of the pipe line enterprise, although a man of 
liberal means, was under heavy call obligations at the banks. The 
Standard Oil Company and some other corporations informed the 
banks that they must either cease carrying Harley or lose the 
company deposits. 

The resulting pressure soon forced Harley into bankruptcy, 
and, as his company held the only charter in existence for a trunk 
pipe line, the project was supposed to have been killed. 

At this juncture B. D. Benson and D. McKelvy, large pro 
ducers of oil of Titusville, Pa., inquired of General Haupt whether 
a right-of-way could not be obtained by purchase and a pipe line 
built through the States of Pennsylvania and Maryland to tide 
water, without a charter. 

The great power of the hostile Standard Oil Company and of 
the trunk line railroad corporations, with their vast resources and 
numerous agents, together with the fact that there was no law 
authorizing the condemnation of land for this purpose, and that a 
single defect in title or a single break of even a foot in the line 
would be fatal, gave to the undertaking an extremely hazardous 

There were hundreds of highways, one or two canals, many 
streams, several railways and thousands of farms to be crossed, but 
Haupt believed he could get through, under or over them all, and 
undertook the task. No one was to know or ever knew his plans, 
methods of procedure or route, but he was to have a carte blanche 
and unlimited credit. 

He ran surveys through many counties and in numerous direc 
tions as a ruse to concentrate the operations of his enemies where 
they would be harmless, but quietly bought and paid for his right- 
of-way on routes where he had no surveyors, taking extreme cau 
tion in the preparation of all papers and contracts and the descrip 
tion of all lands, so that everything should be proof against in 
junctions and other processes of attack, always communicating 
with principals through third parties and by means of secret cipher. 

He had succeeded everywhere and knew that his proceedings 
were secure, when, toward the end of the line, he was blocked 
in Maryland, where he was unable to get over the Baltimore & 
Ohio Railway tracks. 


Finally he secured permission from the County Commission 
ers of Baltimore to lay his line on a county bridge, high over the 
tracks, thus defeating the railroad and reaching tidewater in safety. 

Without the power of eminent domain to condemn rights-of- 
way for hundreds of miles through the property of those recalci 
trant holders who are encountered in every great enterprise, and 
surrounded and watched everywhere by the hostile agents of the 
most powerful corporations in the United States, Haupt s pipe 
line achievement stands as one of the most remarkable feats of its 
character in this country, and is the one in which, perhaps, he 
takes the greatest pride. 

The Tidewater Pipeline, which Haupt s success rendered pos 
sible, is now, as it has been for many years, in successful operation, 
with offices on Broadway, New York, and is one of the decisive ele 
ments which combined to give cheap illuminating fluid to the peo 
ple of the entire nation, while, at the same time, the members of its 
original enemy, the Standard Oil Company, have been able to 
accumulate fortunes that are really fabulous in size, due in part 
to the system of trunk pipe-lines like Haupt s now in general use 
under the general law subsequently passed. 

In 1879 General Haupt was employed to examine and report 
upon Hardie s pneumatic motors, five of which were constructed 
and tested upon the Second Avenue Railroad in New York. A 
compression plant was erected in Harlem, from which air at a 
pressure of 360 pounds was introduced into cylinders placed under 
the car seats. The motors were entirely successful, but were never 
generally introduced. 

Haupt demonstrated that the cost of transporting passengers- 
by horse power, including general expenses and a 6 per cent, divi 
dend, was 4.55 cents each, and by pneumatic motor 2.57 cents each. 

Such a result was entirely revolutionary, but the projectors 
could not get their motors upon the roads. 

In the same year (1879) General Haupt was appointed con 
sulting engineer of the United States Hydrogen Company, a cor 
poration engaged in developing processes for the anti-corrosive 
treatment of iron and steel. Many of the results were entirely 
satisfactory, and articles treated by these processes resisted even 
the attacks of aqua regia. 


It is certain that the remarkable success which attended the 
treatment in some cases positively proved that equal success could 
have been secured in all other cases if the essential conditions had 
been carefully determined and duplicated; but in consequence of 
circumstances beyond his control they were not; the enterprise 
languished and died, though the process and General Haupt s 
knowledge still live. 


In the spring of 1881 he was appointed General Manager of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad, which position he held until the 
fall of 1884. During this period the road was completed to the 
Pacific Ocean, and the various divisions and departments as re 
organized by him were put in working order. 

The management of the Yillard gold-spike celebration at the 
opening of the road in Montana was attended with peculiar difficul 
ties and many serious risks. There were four sections of about fif 
teen Pullman cars, each to be transported from St. Paul over two 
mountain ranges, with temporary grades of 240 feet per mile, and 
with a large number of inexperienced train hands to manage the 
brakes. It was an extremely anxious time for General Haupt, who 
alone knew and appreciated the full extent of the danger and 
responsibility ; but he carried everything through without accident, 
and the gold-spike celebration marked an epoch in railway history. 

In 1883 he prepared a pamphlet on the bane of constant legis 
lative interference by States with railroad properties and manage 
ment, which was so favorably received by the railroad companies 
of the Northwest that several thousand extra copies were printed 
for general distribution. 

While General Manager he secured the great terminals at St. 
Paul, Minneapolis and elsewhere, which now form such an im 
portant part of the value of the Northern Pacific. 

In 1884 he was elected President of the Dakota & Great 
Southern Railroad, and at about the same time became one of the 
ten proprietors of the town-site of West Superior, at the head of 
Lake Superior, which has since grown from a pine slashing to a 
place of between 3 0,000 and 40,000 people, and to be one of the 
very largest shipping ports on the Great Lakes. 


During all these activities General llaupt has been a volumin 
ous writer, especially upon technical and professional subjects. 
He has made investigations and prepared treatises and reports 
almost without number, some of them, unquestionably, of great and 
enduring value. 

His report on the Meigs system of elevated railroads sustained 
the claims of the inventor. 

One of his most elaborate reports relates to Birdsall Holly s 
system of steam-heating for cities. It introduced a series of direct 
experiments on the transmission of elastic fluids through pipes, 
made at the works of the Holly Manufacturing Company, at Lock- 
port, N. Y., from which new and valuable formulae were deduced 
for the calculation of discharges under pressure, with numerous 
tables of lasting and practical value. 

The subject of improving the navigation of rivers had occu 
pied his attention as far back as when he was Chief Engineer of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. He then published a review of the plans 
proposed by Charles Ellett and others, with suggestions of his own 
especially applicable to the Ohio. Having been invited to attend 
a meeting of the Ohio River Commissioners in Washington in 
1880, he prepared papers which, on being submitted to Congress, 
were published in H. R. Miscellaneous Doc. 33, 46th Congress, 2d 

His plans were well received by the committees of both 
Houses, and were referred to the Secretary of War, and by him to 
the Chief of Engineers, who appointed a board consisting of five 
of the highest officers of the Corps to investigate and report upon 
them. Several hearings were given, and the board finally report 
ed, in substance, that, although they possessed the results of twenty- 
five consecutive years of observations on the flow of water in the 
Ohio, made by their own engineers, their data were insufficient; 
that more extended and careful examinations should be made and, 
if previous results should be confirmed, the plans of General Haupt 
would be worthy of careful consideration. 

The report did not suggest whether the required "observa 
tions 7 should cover twenty-five years or twenty-five centuries. 

The Haupt plan contemplated a navigation without locks or 
dams, that would not obstruct commerce in high water or at ordi- 


nary navigable stages, but would secure a depth of six feet at the 
lowest stages. All that he asked was permission to test his princi 
ple on one of the worst shoals in the river, not interfering with 
traffic and giving ample security to the effect that, if not successful, 
in the opinion of a mixed board of civil and military engineers, he 
would remove all the material placed in the stream and leave it 
precisely as it was before undertaking the experiment. 

The cost of the improvement would have been about one- 
fourth that planned by the Government engineers, as illustrated 
at the Davis Island dam at Pittsburg. 

James E. Eads characterized the proposed plans for retarding 
the velocity of discharge and increasing navigable depth as entirely 
new, but believed they would accomplish the desired end. Never 
theless, the Government, which could have done so without a cent 
of cost or risk, has never permitted them to be tested. 

In 1893 he published a volume giving comparative estimates 
of cost of construction and operation of all the systems of city and 
suburban railways then known and used. As to power, he found 
that compressed air, used in a proper motor, was cheaper, better 
and safer than any other system and, with an honest capitalization, 
would earn fair dividends on 2-J-cent fares. 

It was impossible to secure the adoption of compressed air on 
any prominent line in consequence of the opposition of capitalists 
who had many millions invested in electrical apparatus and who 
felt compelled to discourage and paralyze anything that promised 
to be a formidable competitor to electrical propulsion. 


Although in his eighty-fifth year, General Haupt has not re 
tired from active business. In the enjoyment of perfect health, 
with all his faculties clear, strong and vigorous, he is President 
and the active head of the American Nutrient Company, of Jersey 
City, and travels back and forth between Washington (his home) 
and Philadelphia, and New York, and elsewhere, with all the 
eagerness and buoyancy of a man of forty. 

He is a life-member of the American Philosophical Society, 
Pennsylvania Historical Society and Franklin Institute, and an 
honorary member of other associations. He takes an active inter- 


est in social, philosophical and public questions, and occasionally 
finds time to publish leaflets and pamphlets giving his views upon 
current topics. 

The modesty of his Christian life, the generosity of his for 
giving spirit, the fairness of his profound judgment and the integ 
rity of all his thoughts and purposes form a rare supplement to his 
great abilities, his strong will, his fearless attacks, his ceaseless 
energy and his many, many splendid achievements. 



ON April 22, 1862, while engaged in an exciting contest in 
Boston over the TToosac Tunnel bill, I received a telegram 
from the Secretary of War requesting my immediate presence in 
Washington, and, about the same time, one from Hon. John 
Covode, of Pennsylvania, in these words : "Come here immedi 
ately ; Secretary Stanton wants you." 

I showed these telegrams to Hon. Jonathan E. Field and other 
prominent members of the Massachusetts Senate and House, who 
advised me to go, pledging themselves to protect my interests, 
which pledge was fully redeemed. 

A Joint Special Committee of ten had made a report unani 
mously endorsing my management of the Hoosac Tunnel con 
struction, and had reported a bill to reinstate me in possession of 
work, of which I had been deprived by Governor John A. Andrew, 
with an appropriation to compensate for the damages caused by the 
enforced suspension. 

Governor Andrew had announced his determination to veto 
this bill, or any other that would retain the work in my hands, but 
was willing to assume the partially-completed tunnel as a State 
work. After several conferences with members of the Legislature 
and officers of the Company, I had agreed to surrender possession to 
the State on certain very important conditions, and had the prom 
ise that these conditions should be inserted in a bill to be presented ; 
but the bill had not been drafted and the action of the Executive 
was uncertain. The situation was critical, as fortune and reputa 
tion were at stake. 

However, I immediately reported in Washington to the Secre 
tary of War. At this interview I made inquiry as to the service to 
be performed and the time probably required. Mr. Stanton stated 
that General McClellan was on the Peninsula operating against 
Richmond ; that General McDowell was ordered to cooperate by a 
forced march across the country, but could not move until the 
Eredericksburg Railroad was put in order for transportation of 
troops and supplies; that the bridges had been burned, the track 
destroyed and the rails carried off ; that so soon as the line could be 



reconstructed, McDowell could move, Richmond would fall and 
the war would be ended. My services might be required for three 
or four weeks, and added: "If the war is not finished in three 
months, I will resign." 

I desired the Secretary to put his orders in writing, and soon 
after received the following note : 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., April 24, 1862. 
Herman Haupt, Esq. 

DEAR SIR : I desire you to proceed directly to the Headquarters of 
Major-General McDowell on the Rappahannock and receive his instruc 
tions respecting the engineering work which he desires to have executed 
for his advance. If, upon inspecting the operations, you can devote your 
time and abilities to the service of the Government in their completion, 
you will be regarded as rendering important and patriotic assistance to 
the country which will be cordially acknowledged by this Department. 

Your obedient servant, 


Secretary of War. 

To this communication the following reply was returned : 

WASHINGTON, April 25, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

I have considered your request and will go immediately to General 
McDowell, ascertain the position of affairs and the precise character of 
the duties to be performed. If they shall appear to be such as impera 
tively to require my personal attention, it will be given, although the 
sacrifices in other important interests will be great. If I can suggest 
arrangements to dispense with my personal services, this may be done. 
In any event, I would expect to continue only so long as public exigencies 
demanded it. 

I have no military or political aspirations, and am particularly 
averse to wearing the uniform; would prefer to perform the duties re 
quired without military rank, if possible, but if rank is essential as a 
means to aid in the performance of duty, I must acquiesce. 

Pay I do not require or care about. If I take the position you have 
so kindly offered, it will be with the understanding that I can retire 
whenever, in my opinion, my services can be dispensed with, and that I 
will perform no duties on the Sabbath unless necessity imperatively re 
quires it, and of that necessity I must be the judge, so far as may be con 
sistent with military subordination. 

Yours, with much respect, 


A small steamer having been placed at my disposal, I pro 
ceeded down the Potomac in search of General Irvin McDowell. 
I found him on a steamer lying at anchor near Belle Plain, pre 
sented my letter from the Secretary and remained about one hour 
in conversation, during which he gave me very full information as 
to the condition of the road and bridges and the work required to 
be executed. 

As I was about to retire he remarked, much to my surprise : 


"Why, Haupt, you don t seem to know me." I replied that I was 
not aware that I had ever met him before. "Well," said the Gen 
eral, "that hurts my feelings. Don t you remember when I came 
to West Point as a plebe in 1834, that you took me into your tent 
during my first encampment and extended to me your protection as 
an older cadet ?" 

I did remember that a fat boy from Ohio had been quartered 
in my tent, but had no idea that this boy was the General in com 
mand of the Department of the Rappahannock. However, the ice 
was broken; from that time we were friends. Our relations be 
came most cordial and confidential, and there is no one for whom, 
as a gentleman and a soldier, I entertained a more profound 

On my return to Washington, April 27, 1 was appointed Aide- 
de-Camp on the staff of General McDowell with the rank of 
Colonel, and after collecting men and material, I proceeded to 
Acquia Creek and commenced the construction of the road to 
Fredericksburg, landing with my men at Acquia Creek Tuesday 
morning, April 29. 

The following report to the Secretary of War, dated Freder- 
icksburg, May 25, will give information in regard to operations 
in the reconstruction of the Fredericksburg Railroad : 


FREDERICKSBURG, VA., May 25, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanion, Secretary of War. 

SIR: In compliance with your request that I should give a report 
of operations connected with the reconstruction and opening of the Mili 
tary Railroad between Fredericksburg and Acquia Creek, I beg leave to 
state that on Tuesday, April 22, I received your telegram at Boston re 
questing an immediate interview at Washington. I started on Wednes 
day, called upon you on Thursday, saw General McDowell at the head 
quarters of his Division on Friday, learned from him the urgent neces 
sities which required prompt action, returned on Saturday to Washing 
ton to make further arrangements with your Department, procured im 
plements and supplies, and on Tuesday morning, in company with Daniel 
Stone, Esq., landed at Acquia Creek prepared to commence operations. 

The condition of the road was briefly as follows : 

The extensive wharf at Acquia Creek, covering a surface of more 
than an acre, or about 50,000 superficial feet, with all the buildings con 
nected therewith, had been destroyed by fire. For a distance of three 
miles the track had been torn up, the rails carried south out of reach, 
the ties put in piles and burned. All the bridges were destroyed, the 
superstructures burned, and in several instances the abutments blown up. 

The reconstruction of the roads and wharf demanded immediate 
attention. A commencement had been made at the wharf, and some ties 
had been cut in the woods, but there was no proper organization for work. 
We proceeded on Tuesday to organize and commenced to lay track. The 
road bed had been used by cavalry, the wet weather had converted the 


clay surface into tenacious mud, the cross ties were of all conceivable 
dimensions. The artificers were soldiers without experience in track- 
laying, the weather was rainy; yet, by taking some of the most intelli 
gent young officers, using them as assistant engineers, making levelling 
instruments from sticks, working all night in the rain, spiking rails by 
the use of lanterns, the three miles of track were laid in three days so 
that engines could pass over and transport material for work further in 
advance. More than 3,000 cross ties were manufactured by soldiers from 
the stump during that time and delivered on the road. 

On Saturday morning, May 3, the first load of bridge lumber was 
carried from Acquia Creek for the Ackakeek bridge. This opening was 
a single span of about 150 feet and elevation of 30 feet. About noon on 
Saturday we were honored by a visit from yourself in company with 
Secretaries Seward and Chase and General Moorhead. At that time no 
part of the bridge had been erected and only the framing commenced. 
The next afternoon General McDowell rode across the bridge on an 

The time occupied in erecting it was about 15 working hours. 

The next and most serious obstruction was the deep chasm of 
Potomac Creek nearly 400 feet wide, which had been crossed by a deck 
bridge of about 80 feet elevation above the water. No work was done 
until the 3d of May, except cutting some logs in the woods at a point 
so distant that but few of them could be used. On Saturday, May 3d, 
some of the logs were laid for crib foundations, but it was not until 
Tuesday of the following week that any proper organization could be 
effected. Three companies of the 6th and 7th Wisconsin and of the 19th 
Indiana Kegiments, under Lieutenants Harker, Pond and Ford, had been 
detailed as a construction force, but many of the men were sickly and 
inefficient, others were required for guard duty, and it was seldom that 
more than 100 to 120 men could be found fit for service, of whom a still 
smaller number were really efficient, and very few were able or willing 
to climb about on ropes and poles at an elevation of 80 feet. With sol 
diers unaccustomed to such work, with an insufficient supply of tools, 
with occasional scarcity of food and with several days of wet weather, 
the work was nevertheless advanced so rapidly that in nine days the 
bridge was crossed on foot, and in less than two weeks an engine was 
passed over, to the great delight of the soldiers whose labors had con 
structed it. 

By a computation made by A. W. Hoyt, Esq., Civil Engineer, it 
appears that the number of lineal feet of timber in the bridge across 
Potomac Creek is 34,760, which, if placed in a straight line, would reach 
nearly seven miles. The equivalent in board measure is about two and 
a half millions of feet. 

The bridge across the Rappahannock was constructed under the 
immediate supervision of Daniel Stone, Esq., who was placed by you in 
general charge of construction. The bridge was constructed in about 
the same time as that at Potomac Run. It is about 600 feet long and 43 
feet above water, depth of water 10 feet. 

The reconstruction of the road and bridges, under the circum 
stances, in so short a time, with an ordinary detail of troops taken pro 
miscuously, without selection, with, for part of the time, an insufficient 
supply of tools and implements, is certainly a most extraordinary per 
formance, and reflects the highest credit upon the officers and soldiers 
whose energy and perseverance have accomplished it. 

The services of Captains Simon Barstbw and Joseph C. Willard, of 


the staff, cannot be too highly estimated, but much credit is due also to 
Major Brown, of the staff, Captains Conrad, Shannon, Henry and Feas- 
ter, of the Pennsylvania Reserves. Colonel Biddle and his officers, espe 
cially Lieutenants Kennedy, of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves; Lamp- 
man, of the 30th New York ; Rogers, of the 6th Wisconsin ; Upperdale, of 
the 14th New York; Sexton, of the 2d Wisconsin; Thomas, of the 6th 
Wisconsin; Barter, of the 19th Indiana; Ramsey, of the 8th Pennsyl 
vania; Pennypacker, of the 4th Pennsylvania, and many non-commis 
sioned officers and privates who, in consideration of valuable services, 
have been detailed permanently as members of a construction corps for 
future operations of a similar character. The services rendered by E. 0. 
Smeed, W. W. Wright, I. B. Nevins, G. F. Spear, W. R. Fulton and 
Samuel Longmaid, civilians and foremen in the construction of the work, 
must not be overlooked. 

The above report is very respectfully submitted by 

H. HAUPT, A. D. C., 
Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
Va., Department of the Rappahannoclc. 

During the reconstruction of this road, General McDowell 
came out almost daily to watch the progress and encourage the 
men by his presence. He said he had never heard sweeter music 
than the click of the hammers when we were working all night 
near his Headquarters, spiking rails by the aid of lanterns, the 
men soaked with rain and the ties laid in mud. 

It was a hard-looking track when first laid, and when the 
General rode out next morning to inspect it, lie expressed the 
opinion that an engine could never be run over it. I requested him 
to suspend judgment until next morning, and look at the road then. 
He came, as promised, and expressed surprise to find the track in 
good line and surface and ballasted with earth, but as the ties had 
been cut by soldiers and varied in thickness from four inches to a 
foot, the task of surfacing was not an easy one. 

It was good work, under existing conditions, to lay three miles 
of track in three days. 

The bridge across the Ackakeek was commenced on Saturday, 
May 3, and finished so that General McDowell crossed on an 
engine, Sunday, May 4. The length was 150 feet. Time of re 
construction, 15 hours. 

The Potomac Run bridge was now taken in hand. Some work 
was commenced May 3, but no organization effected until May 
6. The last trestle was raised on May 13, so that but seven days 
were occupied in this work, at which time the bridge could be 
crossed on foot. An engine passed over on the evening of May 15, 
and on Monday, May 19, trains were running to Fredericksburg. 

The following statement was made by General McDowell 
before the Court of Inquiry: 

The Potomac Run Bridge is a most remarkable structure. When 
it is considered that in the campaigns of Napoleon, trestle bridges of 


more than one story, even of moderate height, were regarded as imprac 
ticable, and that, too, for common military roads, it is not difficult to 
understand why distinguished Europeans should express surprise at so 
bold a specimen of American military engineering. It is a structure 
which ignores all the rules and precedents of military science as laid 
down in books. It is constructed chiefly of round sticks cut from the 
woods, and not even divested of bark; the legs of the trestles are braced 
with round poles. It is in four stories three of trestle and one of crib 
work. The total height from the deepest part of the stream to the rail, 
is over 80 feet. It carries daily from 10 to 20 heavy railway trains in 
both directions, and has withstood several severe freshets and storms 
without injury. 

The bridge was built in May, 1862, in nine working days, during 
which time the greater part of the material was cut and hauled. It con 
tains more than two million feet of lumber. The original structure, 
which it replaced, required as many months as this did days. It was 
constructed by the common soldiers of the Army of the Rappahannock, 
command of Major-General McDowell, under the supervision of his 
aide-de-camp, Colonel, now Brigadier-General Herman Haupt, Chief of 
Railroad Construction and Transportation. 

The Potomac Creek bridge [see illustration on page 41] was 
the first of the kind constructed, but it stood the test and served as 
a model for many others subsequently erected. It was practically 
a mistake to build the first story of crib-work, but as many of the 
men were accustomed to building log houses and were not carpen 
ters, I put them at work at which I supposed they were familiar. 
Possibly a day or two might have been saved by using trestles or 
bents for the whole structure. 

The most remarkable feature about this bridge is the fact that 
it was built by common soldiers, not by mechanics. After a perma 
nent Construction Corps had been organized and the men properly 
drilled, a much larger bridge was erected by one of my former 
assistants, E. C. Smeed, in half the time. 

The following telegram to General McDowell from Potomac 
Creek, May 14, 1863, reports some difficulties: 

There are so few men here able or willing to climb about on the 
high trestles, that I fear the work of bracing will be extremely tedious. 
Out of twelve men selected to spike poles on top of bents, only one made 
his appearance. I must therefore resort to new expedients. I propose, 
as soon as I can get track timbers down and track closed, to pull over the 
engine, Washington, by means of ropes. If it goes into the creek, it will 
cease to trouble us for awhile; if it reaches the other side, it will have a 
good road and may keep the track. We can readily get cars over by 
planking between the tracks and pushing. The rain gives us much 
trouble, but I will spare no effort to get an engine to the Rappahannock 
by Saturday (17). Men are wet, dull and no life or activity in them. 

With all these difficulties, the bridge was finished in ample 
time, as the army did not move until May 26, and then it was a 
retrograde and not an advance movement. 


When Fredericksburg had been evacuated by the Confeder 
ates, a number of torpedoes with percussion fuses had been placed 
under the tracks about the depot grounds to blow up trains that 
might attempt to enter. The locations had been pointed out by 
friendly contrabands, and the soldiers had removed quite a number 
and placed them in a small brick building detached from the sta 
tion, that had been used as a powder magazine by the railroad com 
pany. A sentinel on duty one day probably handled one of these 
torpedoes carelessly and caused an explosion of the whole number. 
The report was startling. The city was shaken and the building 
blown to atoms not a brick left. Nothing was ever seen of the 
sentinel except a piece of his gun at a considerable distance from 
the spot. 

As it was not certain that all the torpedoes had been removed, 
the first train was made up by putting the engine behind and a car 
very heavily loaded with scrap iron in front, so as to explode any 
torpedoes before the engine reached them ; but none were found. 

After completing the road to Fredericksburg, I removed my 
Headquarters to that city and took possession of a comfortable resi 
dence that had been abandoned by its former occupants. General 
Marcena R. Patrick was Provost Marshal-General. His adminis 
tration gave great satisfaction to the citizens. Private property 
was protected, depredations by soldiers punished, and good order 

On my first visit to the city I saw fifteen or twenty soldiers 
standing along the curbstone, with boards on their backs stating their 
offenses, such as "I stole a ham," "I broke into a private house," 
etc. On one occasion a General Officer had taken possession of a 
dwelling occupied by a widow and two daughters and required 
them to seek other quarters. When General McDowell heard of it r 
he reprimanded the officer, compelled him to vacate, and reinstated 
the former occupants. 

On Friday, May 23, President Lincoln and most of the mem 
bers of his Cabinet visited General McDowell at his Headquarters, 
at the Lacy House, on the north side of the Eappahannock. I 
accompanied them from and to Acquia Creek. The President 
seemed to be much interested in the Potomac Creek bridge, and on 
his return to Washington remarked to members of the War Com 
mittee that he had "seen the most remarkable structure that human 
eyes ever rested upon. That man Haupt has built a bridge across. 
Potomac Creek, about 400 feet long and nearly 100 feet high, over 
which loaded trains are running every hour, and, upon my word,, 
gentlemen, there is nothing in it but beanpoles and cornstalks." 

At this interview, after other matters had been considered,. 
General McDowell turned to the President and said that Shields r 


command had come back from the Shenandoah valley out of shoes, 
clothing and, in fact, everything; that his supplies could not be 
issued before the next day (Saturday) and that he could not be 
ready to move before Sunday ; but, knowing the President s disin 
clination to initiate movements on that day, he would defer to his 
judgment and allow him to name the time. The President re 
flected for a short time and then said : "I ll tell you what to do ; 
take a good ready and start Monday morning." 

Every preparation had been made for a very rapid movement 
towards Richmond on Monday, May 26. I had a profile of the 
line to Richmond, knew the size of every bridge, and was prepared 
for prompt reconstruction. 

The Massaponix bridge, 6 miles from Fredericksburg, had 
been prepared for burning and, anticipating an advance, was 
buired Monday morning, but we had a new bridge ready, and al 
though I was not personally present, the bridge was reconstructed 
by a portion of my force in half a day, much to the surprise of the 
contrabands, who said : "The Yankees can build bridges quicker 
tl an the Rebs can burn them down." 

On Sunday morning, May 25, an Orderly rode to my quar 
ters and delivered a note from General McDowell, who wished to 
see me immediately. I accordingly repaired to the Lacy House 
and found him in a state of great excitement. He placed in my 
hands a bundle of dispatches and told me to read them, and they 
would advise me of the situation. 

I found that orders had been issued to move the army by 
forced marches to Front Royal to intercept Jackson. McDowell 
replied, substantially, that Washington was in no danger; that 
forces under Banks and Fremont were sufficient for the protection 
of the capital ; that Jackson had only one-third the distance to re 
treat that he had to advance; that before he could reach Front 
Royal the enemy would-be out of reach ; that the move was only a 
diversion to break up the plan of the campaign ; that if allowed to 
advance, Richmond would fall and the war would be substantially 
ended. If orders n#w received were insisted on, the war would be 
indefinitely prolonged. 

The orders were insisted upon and, as the sequel proved, the 
war was indefinitely prolonged. For the failure to capture Jack 
son the public demanded a victim and, soon after, McDowell was 
relieved and Pope put in command. 

So far as my observation and knowledge of the facts extended, 
General McDowell was rarely permitted to execute any movement 
that he recommended, but was compelled to do that which was 
contrary to his own judgment and against which he protested. 

The next day, Monday, May 26, I was off with my corps for 


Alexandria to reconstruct the Manassas Gap Road and throw 
troops and supplies into Front Royal, leaving Daniel Stone with a 
part of the force to reconstruct the bridge across the Massaponix, 
for which the material was already loaded on the cars. 

The following telegrams exhibit some of the difficulties I 
had to contend with : 

POTOMAC CREEK, May 13, 1862. 
General McDowell: 

The last bent was raised at Potomac Creek this evening, and several 
persons have walked over it, but the day has been a miserable one, and 
with all my efforts I could scarcely get two hours work out of the men. 
They soon became wet and worked without spirit or good will. I have 
sent for 50 laborers, and will be able to determine how many more will be 
required if I can get an idea of the number of contrabands available at 
Fredericksburg for warehouse purposes. -n"rrr 

H. HAUPl. 

May 19, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War: 

Accept my thanks for your prompt attention to my request. I have 
not yet been supplied with material as fast as I could use it ; when I can 
draw upon the woods I am independent, but I cannot make planks and 
spikes with axes, so excuse the trouble I have given you. -o- TT A -i-mrr 

id.. J~i A U r t 

WAR DEPARTMENT, May 20, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

I congratulate you on the success of your first attempt. Your fore 
sight, energy and general good management will insure continual success. 
The news of the evacuation of Yorktown without either fight or bombard 
ment is confirmed. The evacuation was completed last night, but had 
been going on for some days. P. H. WATSON, 

Assistant Secretary of War. 

FREDERICKSBURG, May 26, 1862. 
To Major-General McDowell. 

SIR : After receiving your instructions this morning, to advance for 
the purpose of constructing the bridge across the Massaponix, I pro 
ceeded to make the necessary preparations, but found that the opinions 
of Mr. Stone and myself did not precisely coincide and that considerable 
confusion existed. Whilst giving some directions in regard to the move 
ment Mr. Stone handed me his letter of instructions from the Secretary 
of War, which I had never before seen, and which is in the following 

words : 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., April 26, 1862. 

This may certify that Daniel Stone is authorized to do anything he may deem expe 
dient to open for use in the shortest possible time the Richmond & Acquia Creek Railroad, 
and all Government transports are required to transport free of charge any men or mate 
rial he may require for that purpose. EDWIN M. STANTON, 

Secretary of War. 

This letter gives Mr. Stone absolute and exclusive control, not 
only over the bridges, but over the construction of the road, leaving me 
absolutely nothing to do but play the part of superintendent of trans 
portation, a position which no consideration but a sense of duty would 
for a moment induce me to accept, and which I would hold only until a 


successor could be found. By not showing me his instructions, Mr. 
Stone left me under wrong impressions in regard to his position, which 
led to hostile jurisdiction. 

The Honorable Secretary of War stated to me verbally that I was 
placed in general charge of all matters pertaining to construction and 
transportation in your Division of the Kappahannock, at least I so under 
stood him, but he could not at the time have remembered the character 
of the letter given to Mr. Stone, which admits of no such construction. 
I do not see under the general powers granted to Mr. Stone directly 
from the War Department, that even you can give him any directions; 
the language is explicit and comprehensive in an extraordinary degree: 
"Daniel Stone is authorized to do anything he may deem expedient;" it 
leaves nothing for any one else. 

In the Department of Transportation there is also a conflict of 
authority in the general instructions given to Col. McCallum, as General 
Director of all the Military Railroads of the United States. In the exer 
cise of his authority he has the exclusive right to appoint all employees, 
purchase all supplies, direct all operations. I can only act as his assist 
ant and subordinate ; there cannot be two co-existent and equal heads in 
one Department. Mr. McCallum is my personal friend. There is not, 
and will not be, any personal difficulty between us, but there is a serious 
defect in organization which interferes with successful operation. 

I find no fault with the Secretary of War. I understand and appre 
ciate his position. His extreme desire to secure the completion of this 
important communication induced him to summon others as well as my 
self to his aid. If I have rendered any services, the fact is a sufficient 
compensation for me, and if I have aided you in any way, it will ever 
afford me much gratification to remember the very nattering acknowl 
edgment I have received from yourself and from the Honorable Secre 
tary of War. It seems to me now that my mission here is ended, or will 
be as soon as the transportation shall have become better organized. But 
I wish to assure you that I shall carry with me a grateful recollection 
of your kindness and the highest appreciation of you as a soldier and a 
man. Your efforts to suppress disorder, punish crimes, enforce disci 
pline, and do justice to all classes have done much to relieve war of its 
most odious features and have secured for you the esteem even of those 
whose sympathies are with the enemy. 

Very respectfully submitted, H. HAUPT. 

Immediately afterwards I received the following, which 
placed me in supreme command : 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., May 28, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt. 

SIR: You are hereby appointed Chief of Construction and Trans 
portation in the Department of the Rappahannock, with the rank of 
Colonel, and attached to the staff of Major-General McDowell. 

You are authorized to do whatever you may deem expedient to open 
for use in the shortest possible time all Military Railroads now or here 
after required in said Department ; to use the same for transportation 
under such rules and regulations as you may prescribe ; to appoint such 
assistants and employes as you may deem necessary, define their duties, 
and fix their compensation; to make requisitions upon any of the mili 
tary authorities, with the approval of the Commanding General, for such 
temporary or permanent details of men as may be required for the con- 


struction or protection of lines of communication; to use such Govern 
ment steamers and transports as you may deem necessary; to pass free 
of charge in such steamers and transports, and on other military roads, 
all persons whose services may be required in construction or transporta 
tion; to purchase all such machinery, rolling stock and supplies as the 
proper use and operation of the said railroads may require, and certify 
the same to the Quartermaster General, who shall make payment there 

You are also authorized to form a permanent corps of artificers, 
organized, officered, and equipped in such manner as you may prescribe ; 
to supply said corps with rations, transportation, tools and implements 
by requisitions upon the proper Departments; to employ civilians and 
foremen and assistants, under such rules and rates of compensation as 
you may deem expedient; to make such additions to ordinary rations 
when actually at work as you may deem necessary. 

You are also authorized to take possession of and use all railroads, 
engines, cars, machinery and appurtenances within the geographical lim 
its of the Department of the Rappahannock, and all authority granted or 
instructions heretofore given to other parties which may in any way 
conflict with the instructions herein contained are and will be without 
force or effect in the said Department of the Rappahannock from and 
after this date. 

By order of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Army and 
Navy of the United States. 

Secretary of War. 

MANASSAS, May 29, 1862. 

No. 17. 

The following, received from the War Department, is published 
for the information and guidance of all concerned : 

WASHINGTON, May 28, 1862. 

Ordered, That Colonel Herman Haupt be recognized as the Chief of the Rail 
road Construction and Transportation in the Department of the Rappahannock, and 
that all other persons connected with that Department be subordinate to him, under 
the Department command. EDWIN M. STANTON, 

Secretary of War. 

Accordingly, all persons connected with the railroads, either in the 
Departments of Construction or Transportation, will receive the orders 
of Col. Haupt, A. D. C., as if they were given directly by the Major- 
General commanding the Department. 

By command of Major-General McDowell. 

Official. A. A. General. 

Notwithstanding the objections of General McDowell, the 
orders to march to Front Koyal and capture Jackson were in 
sisted upon, and on Monday, May 26, 1862, instead of the "on to 
Biohmond" move that had been determined upon, and for which 
all things were ready, the army commenced its forced marches 
across the country, leaving baggage and knapsacks to be forwarded 
by river and rail. I left with my Construction Corps for Alex 
andria, and after making, as I supposed, satisfactory arrangements 


with the Superintendent at that point, Colonel J. H. Devereux, for 
the management of the transportation, proceeded to reconstruct 
the Manassas Gap Kailroad. 

The road was soon put in passable condition to Rectortown 
and Piedmont. About the middle of the week General McDowell 
reached, and established his Headquarters at, Rectortown, and a 
depot was formed at Piedmont. The equipment of the road was 
insufficient for the amount of transportation so suddenly thrown 
upon it, and to make requisitions upon other roads and secure 
rolling stock, required time. The difficulties of the situation were 
greatly increased by the usual military interference with the run 
ning of trains, and by the neglect or refusal of subordinates in the 
Commissary and Quartermaster Department to promptly unload 
and return cars. 

On my arrival at Piedmont, four miles beyond Rectortown, I 
found a paymaster who had appropriated one of the box-cars stand 
ing on the main track, and was using it as his office. This gentle 
man had been appointed from civil life and was, as usual, greatly 
impressed with the importance and dignity of his position. He 
positively refused to vacate the car. I represented that the army 
could not be supplied unless we could have the use of the track ; he 
expressed the opinion that the payment of the men was quite as im 
portant as supplying them with rations. To the representation 
that he could establish his office just as well in a house as in a car, 
he again decidedly declared his intention not to vacate. 

As remonstrance was useless, I went off, procured a detail 
from the guard, ordered the men to remove the money chests, table, 
chairs and papers to a brick house near the track, and directed the 
paymaster to follow, which he did without further opposition. 

At Piedmont a blockade occurred by failure to unload trains. 
The fact was reported to General McDowell, who sent for his chief 
Quartermaster and chief Commissary and ordered them to repair 
immediately to Piedmont and superintend personally the unload 
ing of cars. This was an unpleasant duty. The night was dark, 
the distance four miles, and the rain poured down in torrents. 

Expected trains next morning did not come forward. I 
waited for hours in suspense and anxiety. Concluding that my 
orders about the schedule had been disobeyed, I wrote a letter of 
censure to the Superintendent and proposed to remove him. 

It was fortunate that I waited for explanations. J. H. 
Devereux was one of the best men in the service, but I did not then 
know him. When we did know each other, our relations became 
almost fraternal. His ability was recognized also by others, and 
after the war he became one of the leading railroad managers of 
the country. 


The letter from Colonel Devereux will explain the situation : 

ALEXANDRIA, June 3, 1862. 

H. Haupt, Colonel and Chief Construction and Transportation, Depart 
ment of RappahannocJc. 

SIR: I beg most respectfully to answer more in detail your tele 
gram of to-night. 

You say "the road has been opened and track clear since Sunday 
morning, but not a pound of supplies had reached Front Royal at noon." 

I answer : All my power save engines Rapidan, Fairfax, Delaware, 
Ferguson and Indiana were on the Gap Road. The Fairfax was (and is 
yet) too much out of order to run. Still, we press her as a switch engine, 
and are forced to use her on main line, where she broke down on Satur 
day, delaying for hours all business. She switches and brings up cars 
from Quartermaster and Commissary Department. The Rapidan is the 
only engine we can trust to do the daily heavy work between Washington 
and Alexandria. She has to be here, and nevertheless she has been sent 
with heavy trains to Manassas to be forwarded on Gap Road by your re 
turn power. 

The Indiana is an old machine, only used as a switching engine in 
this yard, poor at that, but has been forced (with our engines off), to take 
part in the Washington work. The Delaware and Ferguson have had all 
they could do in forwarding Quartermaster and Commissary stores from 
here to Manassas to meet there the return power, and in distributing 
stores to troops guarding our road. 

I, therefore, could not send through trains to Front Royal, but I 
knew well Stone, at Manassas, and Irish, at Rectortown, representing me, 
would do all they could do. And I beg to say they act for me, and I ani 
responsible for their shortcomings. But they could not get other 
engines, or the use of the telegraph. 

Knowing the need of the stores (telegraphed about it from Wash 
ington and spurned by the Commissary and Quartermaster), I advised 
and posted Irish and Stone daily about it. But generally in their reply 
was the fact the military were holding the trains somewhere, or the mili 
tary were using the wire. I could not myself get anything from Irish 
without a long delay in one case for an entire day, and I was rapped 
over the knuckles by the War Department in endeavoring to get an 
important order to him and was told to "hold on." In my dispatches to 
you, sir, I stated the condition of the stores, and how they would have to 
be moved, and this not only one time, but several, as I remember, and in 
your one reply you said the power should be "returned promptly." 

June 1st, Irish telegraphs he had sent trains all forward to Mark- 
ham, and Col. Haupt may send further, and he (Irish) cannot say when 
a train will return. And this "return" was about these stores. Again, 
Irish tells me he sent troops on the trains from Rectortown in the morn 
ing, and at 5 p. M. they were ordered by you to Front Royal, and that 
then, 11 at night, they had not returned, and would not probably return, 
as the road at night was not safe to run. 

I could not satisfy myself with every possible inquiry that the 
trains were moved to the best advantage. But in all cases I did find that 
Stone and Irish were doing everything they could and were permitted to 
do, and I fell back on the satisfaction of knowing that Col. Haupt, my 
commanding officer, was there in person, and that he would have my 
requests to himself and to my men properly carried out. Stone and 
Irish, sir, as well as yourself, I advised that the return power from the 


Gap Road must take the stores I forwarded there, and if no stores or 
supplies had reached Front Royal at the time you state, I think I have 
shown that it was through no fault of the Transportation Department. 

You say "no excuse can be made for this (lack of supplies) that 
will satisfy the public," if coal is out. The question is, "why was not 
all procured in season?" 

Because, sir, I respectfully state that to the public no such excuse 
will be made. We have only one coal light engine, never used for freight. 
On Monday week, Col. McCallum seized from Baltimore & Ohio Road 
three heavy coal burners for the special purpose of aiding me in sending 
forward Ord s Division. They were on the road when you came, but had 
done the duty they were procured for and I still kept them, and to meet 
the demands that might occur by keeping them, I ordered coal. This was 
last week. The engines did not get out of coal till yesterday, Monday. 

Col. McCalluin telegraphed me this A. M.: "I ordered a car load 
of soft coal for you on Friday from Georgetown, and the party agreed 
to deliver it at Alexandria by Saturday night. He has had some trouble 
in getting vessel to take it, but has succeeded in getting vessel this morn 
ing, and promises to have the coal in Alexandria some time to-night." 

I therefore must say that neither I nor my men could have done 
more, and, moreover, more than three-quarters of your locomotives on 
Gap Road are wood burners. Coal burner 70 being broken, leaves only 
two coal engines in use. The 70 has her steam chest perforated and her 
cylinders out of order, and is of no use. And I did not propose to do 
anything to her, as on our own broken machines we have plenty of work 
day and night. 

The telegraph officers are not enough in number and have only one 
operator to work the 24 hours through. A man must sleep and eat. 

Irish telegraphed me Glasscut was used up, and it was useless to 
try to work the road as it should be until more operators were obtained. 
I at once referred him to you and to have you ask Col. Stager for the 
help needed. 

About this I stated to you at Rectortown, and you said if I tele 
graphed you a list of officers and operators you would at once apply to 
Col. Stager for them. I sent this telegraph, designating stations, within 
ten minutes after reaching Alexandria on Saturday morning. 

As I write, my operator comes to my desk and tells me he can t get 
my train business oS, being ordered out of circuit by the War Depart 

Since I have been in charge here, sir, matters have worked well 
and smoothly. So say at least the powers above me. You make the first 
complaint against me, and I beg to say that day and night I have been 
at my post, and in action and planning could do no better. But I have 
not control of my trains, my telegraph, neither have my men, and we 
could only do what we have been allowed to do. 

Any arrangement you suggest or f tell me to do, I will carry out 
cheerfully and with all my energy, but please do not hold me responsible 
for the effects of such plans or for any military interference with them, 
at least when you are there on the ground. 

You instruct me to run without reference to telegraph and I at once 
proceed on your order, using all the engines that can come to us, but of 
course, the trains must remain on the sidings until I can obtain the 

And in this very hurried letter (to go with an officer expected 
momentarily) I beg to add, in conclusion, that I have said nothing, sir, 


that must be construed into any lack of esteem for your well-known abil 
ities or my appreciation of your kindness to me, a stranger. 
And I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Superintendent Government Railroads. 

In consequence of my arrangements for the operation of the 
road by schedule having been interfered with by the approval of 
the War Department, the schedule suspended, and the use of the 
telegraph resumed, a report was made to the Secretary of War 
giving reasons for the action that had been taken : 

MANASSAS GAP K. K., June 6, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

SIR : As much difficulty has been experienced in the transportation 
over the Manassas Gap Railroad, I consider it of importance that the 
position of affairs should be reported to and understood by you. 

The road has been operated heretofore exclusively by the use of 
telegraph without any schedule or time-table for running the trains. 
This system of operating a road may answer if the telegraph is always 
in order, operators always at their posts and the line exclusively appro 
priated to railroad purposes, but in the present case the line has not been 
in operation from Alexandria to Front Eoyal for a single hour since I 
came here until yesterday. When in operation it was appropriated for 
military purposes. I have been compelled to go eighteen miles to put 
myself in telegraphic communication with the Superintendent to learn 
the cause of the detention of trains, and have been compelled, after 
waiting for hours, to leave without answer, the line being occupied or 
out of order. 

A system which admits of such irregularities is not safe and reli 
able. To require trains to lie for hours, perhaps for days, upon sidings 
waiting for instructions, when there is no possibility of communicating 
with them, I cannot approve of, and it was under the pressure of such 
an exigency that I assumed the responsibility of suspending the use of 
the telegraph and issued Order No. 2 directing trains with supplies to 
continue on to Front Eoyal as rapidly as was consistent with safety, and 
requiring empty trains returning to give the right of way and send flag 
men in advance. There was no other way of getting supply trains in. 
In one instance I walked eight miles to order trains forward. This order 
I withdrew this morning, having received information last evening that 
the line was working better. I directed the trains to be run as formerly 
under the direction of the Superintendent, whose duties I have no wish 
or intention to interfere with, except when an imperative necessity re 
quires it. 

As soon as the bridge can be rebuilt across Bull Run and the power 
properly distributed, a suitable time-table must go into operation. Until 
that is done, I am satisfied that the operation of the road cannot be car 
ried on with regularity and despatch. Even if a wire and operators 
should be provided for the exclusive use of the road, the line would be 
liable to derangement from storms and other causes, and generally at the 
time when most urgently required. With a good schedule strictly adhered 
to the line can be operated with regularity without any telegraph. The 
telegraph is a convenience in railroad operations. If it should chance 
to be in order when an accident occurs, it may be highly useful, but it is 


not a necessity. As a principal or sole means of operations I consider 
the telegraph very unreliable; as an auxiliary, highly useful. On this 
line and during the last week a dependence upon it has been a cause of 
derangement and delay to an extraordinary degree. 

Another serious difficulty which arises from the operation of a line 
by telegraph alone without a schedule, is the fact that there is no fixed 
time for starting or stopping trains at any point. 

If officers on business, sick or wounded are to be sent, a special extra 
train must be dispatched with them, or they must wait for hours in un 
certainty. I have been asked repeatedly when the next train would start, 
and to the surprise of those who asked the question, I have been com 
pelled to answer "I do not know." 

I respectfully request a perusal of the following extracts from my 
diary for the last week. Respectfully submitted, 

H. HAUPT, A. D. C., 
Chief of Construction and Transportation, 

Department of the RappahannocTc. 

As the telegraph could never be relied upon in the operation 
of the Military Railroads, my policy was to run trains in sections 
by schedule, to use the telegraph to give orders for train movements 
only in case of derangement, and if the telegraph could not be used 
then, even at some risk, to keep the trains moving by sending run 
ners ahead with flags and relieving the runners where fatigued 
until expected trains were met, then side-track empty return trains, 
and let eastward-bound supply trains proceed. I considered any 
thing preferable to standing still for hours or for days waiting for 
telegraph orders that could not be transmitted. 

This system worked well after the trainmen understood it, and 
by it we were subsequently enabled to pass thirty trains per day 
during the battle of Gettysburg over a road that had capacity for 
only three or four under ordinary conditions. 

j By Saturday, May 31, 1862, we were engaged on the last 

bridge across Goose Creek. Five of these bridges had been de 
stroyed, and they were reconstructed in about a day and a half. In 
the afternoon I received a note from General McDowell, then at 
Front Royal, stating that an engineer officer had reported a bad 
break on a high embankment west of the summit; track torn up, 
rails and ties thrown several hundred feet down the side of the 
mountain, and a pile of wrecked cars at the east end of the break ; 
also that two days or more would be required to repair the damage. 
I sent back word by the messenger that the General should not be 
uneasy. If the rails and ties were within reach and no more 
bridges broken, a few hours would repair the damages. 

Next morning, Sunday, June 1, we reached the summit soon 
after daylight and found that a dozen or more cars, side tracked at 
that point, had been turned loose and pushed over the grade. They 
had run as far as the high bank, where the rails had been removed,, 
and then capsized, making a bad wreck. 

l!i m 


The first tiling to be done was to tumble the broken cars over 
the bank. With the strong force at hand, this was soon accom 
plished. The track gang was then divided into two parties, working 
towards each other from the ends of the break. The rails and ties 
were hauled up by ropes, and before 10 A. M. I had passed over the 
break on an engine, and reported to General McDowell, who was 
on horseback in the streets of Front Royal. 

After expressing much surprise at the rapid reconstruction 
of the road, I was requested by him to return and hurry forward 
General Augur s command. This was done, and a few hours later 
found it also at Front Royal. 

But it was too late ; Jackson had escaped. McDowell s pre 
dictions had been verified. Nothing remained but to send some 
troops, as McDowell said, skedaddling after them up the valley 
with no hope of catching them, but, on the contrary, a good chance 
of catching a Tartar by the enemy suddenly turning on their pur- > 
suers, if found without support. 

The move had been a horrible one ; rain, mud and no shelter, 
army demoralized, the public clamorous, critics numerous, the 
President discouraged, a victim demanded. McDowell must be 
relieved, and abput three weeks later General John Pope was in 
command, but it is some satisfaction to know that the Court of 
Inquiry did McDowell justice, and declared in their official report, 
Vol. I, Part I, p. 336 of Records, "His conduct at Fredericksburg 
should receive unqualified commendation." 

The early weeks of June were employed in the return of the 
army from the Shenandoah Valley and the re-occupation of the line 
of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. General McDowell estab 
lished his Headquarters near Manassas. In a review of some of 
his troops one day, his horse reared and fell over backward on his 
rider, injuring him severely and rendering him unconscious. I 
was with him while still in this condition. His staff surgeon en 
deavored to get some brandy into his mouth, but his teeth were 
rigidly set and the effort was unsuccessful. On mentioning the 
circumstance to the General after his recovery, he remarked that 
it was a gratification to know that even when unconscious brandy 
could not be forced down his throat. 

During the occupancy of the Manassas Gap Road efficient 
military protection was afforded by the command of General 
Geary, who had been ordered to confer with me as to the proper 
disposition of the forces. 

The lull in active operations gave time for a more efficient ^ 
organization of the Construction Corps, which was still composed 
of details of soldiers. Afterwards the Corps was composed chiefly 
of contrabands, selected from the thousands of refugees in Wash- 


ington, directed by civilians as foremen and superintendents of 
gangs. ^N~o language is too strong to commend the efficiency of 
this Corps, or the importance of the service it rendered under the 
following regulations : 

June 11, 1862. 

1. The Construction Corps of the Department of the Kappahan- 
nock will consist of such commissioned and non-commissioned officers, 
privates and civilians as may be detailed from the force under the orders 
of the Department Commander, or especially enlisted or employed for the 
service of the Corps. 

2. The duties of the Corps will consist in the construction and 
reconstruction of roads and bridges, the erection of buildings required 
for transportation purposes, the preparation of materials for structures, 
and generally the performance of any duties that may be assigned to 
them by the Chief of the Department. 

3. The Corps will be organized into squads of ten men each. Each 
squad will be under the command of a non-commissioned officer, each two 
squads under command of a lieutenant, and the whole under command 
of an officer designated for the purpose by the Department Commander. 

4. The Adjutant of the Corps will keep a register, in which shall 
be entered the names of the men, their residence, the companies from 
which they have been detailed, their former occupations, the kind of work 
in which they are most expert, the number of the squad to which they 
belong, and any other facts or particulars that may be worthy of note. 
Transfers from one squad to another will be made when required. 

5. The Adjutant of the Corps will also act as Commissary and 
Quartermaster, and it will be his duty to see that the Corps is, at all 
times, provided with rations, suitable in quality and sufficient in quan 
tity; also, that the cooks and cooking utensils, tents, and transportation 
have been provided. The Adjutant shall also publish all orders and keep 
a record of all reports; he shall be allowed one or more time-keepers or 
clerks, who shall report to and receive instructions from him; he shall 
prepare pay-rolls and receive time-reports from officers of squads, and 
shall perform such other duties as may be, from time to time, pre 
scribed by the officer in command of the Corps. 

6. It shall be the duty of a clerk, acting under the orders of the 
Adjutant, to keep a correct record of all tools, implements, and public 
property of every kind belonging to or used by the Construction Corps. 
Each tool or implement will be marked with the words "Construction 
Corps, Rappahannock," branded upon the handle, and also numbered 
both upon the handle and upon the iron, by means of stamps. Each 
squad should have a separate tool-box, which will be under the care of the 
non-commissioned officer in charge of the squad. Each individual will 
be charged with the tool furnished him. He will be responsible for its 
condition, and will retain and use the same as designated by its number. 
To one of the squads shall be assigned the duty of taking care of ropes, 
pulleys, blocks, tackling, and hoisting apparatus generally. Another 
squad shall take care of all materials, lumber, iron, spikes, nails, etc., 
used in construction, and see that no waste is permitted. To another 
will be assigned the duty of taking care of and collecting together tools 
used in common and not chargeable to individuals, such as sledges, mauls, 
crow-bars, rammers, etc., but, as far as practicable, individuals must use 


the same tools and be responsible for them. At regular periods the tools 
will be inspected by the officer in command. 

7. When on active duty, so urgent as to require that every hour 
of day-light shall be employed, the time for breakfast will be at the 
dawn of day, and will be preceded by reveille and roll-call, at which all 
who are late or absent will be reported. Cooks must rise sufficiently 
early to prepare the meals in time. Immediately after breakfast the 
Corps will be assembled by call of bugle, squads called out by their 
numbers, and marched to their work. Those who are not employed in the 
immediate vicinity of the camp must take dinners with them, and all will 
be expected to work, if necessary, as long as day-light continues, and also 
at night, if required so to do. Periods of excessive exertion will gener 
ally be of short duration, and will often be succeeded by long intervals 
of repose. Men who are not willing to work, even for 16 hours continu 
ously, when required, are not wanted in the Construction Corps of the 
Rappahannock, and are requested to leave it and return to their regi 
ments at once. 

8. Extra pay will be given for all time actually engaged in con 
struction or other work. Officers in charge of squads will keep time by 
the hour, and return the same weekly by the Adjutant of the Corps. 

9. Officers are particularly requested to make constant observa 
tions, and report to the Adjutant in regard to the skill, industry, habits, 
and general deportment of the members of the Corps ; and the Adjutant 
will keep a record of the same. All who habitually use profane or 
obscene language; who are immoral, vicious, indolent, or insubordinate, 
and especially those who commit depredations upon the property of citi 
zens, will be sent to their regiments with a statement of the offense com 
mitted, and will be otherwise punished as circumstances may require. 
The members of the Construction Corps are not authorized to investi 
gate and decide upon the loyalty of the inhabitants of the country, much 
less to condemn them as rebels and appropriate their property to them 
selves. Such assumption of authority will not be permitted in any one. 
All who are not in arms against the Government are entitled to protec 
tion against injury or insult. 

10. Each squad will occupy its own tent, and will be responsible 
for the care of it, as also for the tool-box, cooking utensils, and other 
property appropriated to its use. Each tent, tool-box, and utensil shall 
be numbered to correspond with the number of the squad. 

11. No member of the Corps shall discharge fire-arms without the 
orders of a commissioned officer, except where imperative necessity re 
quires it. 

12. Civilians, who may be employed as superintendents in charge 
of construction, will be considered as having, while so employed, the rank 
of a captain, and foremen as having the rank of lieutenant, and will be 
obeyed and respected accordingly. 

13. Civilians, who may be employed as ordinary mechanics and 
laborers, will be entitled to the same pay and rations as enlisted men 
detailed for service in the Construction Corps, and must conform to the 
rules, regulations, and discipline of the Corps in every particular. In 
case of dismissal for improper conduct, neglect of duty, or other cause, 
the officer in command may require the forfeiture of any back pay that 
may at the time be due, which may be given to others as premiums for 
good conduct, or extra services, or otherwise appropriated at the discre 
tion of the officer in command. 


14. A diary shall be kept by the Adjutant, and a quarterly report 
compiled from the diary shall be submitted to the Department Com 
mander, in which shall be given the names of all who have been distin 
guished by efficient services, and also the names of those who have been 
sent to their regiments in consequence of misconduct or inefficiency. 

15. It is expected that all who have volunteered in defense of their 
country in the present eventful crisis are, and will show themselves to 
be, gentlemen as well as soldiers. No one whose deportment and conver 
sation prove that he is not such, can remain a member of the Construc 
tion Corps of the Rappahannock for a longer time than may be necessary 
to procure a substitute. 

H. HAUPT, A. D. C., 

Colonel of Staff, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
Department of fiappahannock. 

Considering, in June, that I had performed the duties for 
which I had been summoned to Washington, and, with a view to 
retirement, I sent this letter to the Secretary of War : 

ALEXANDRIA, June 20, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

DEAR SIR : It is now two months since I was summoned to Wash 
ington by your telegram, and was informed that the service required of 
me was the prompt reconstruction of the railroad from Acquia Creek to 
Fredericksburg, to facilitate a movement against Richmond. I consented 
to perform the service in the belief that the time required would not 
exceed two or three weeks, and that necessity for my continuance would 
then be at an end ; but when the Fredericksburg line was opened and put 
in successful operation, it became_an urgent military necessity that the 
injured portion of the line to Front Royal should be reconstructed. 

This was promptly done by the Construction Corps under my direc 
tion. I then found that the transportation was in a state of great con 
fusion, and required reorganization; this duty has occupied my time 
since the opening of the road to Front Royal, but now I am able to an 
nounce that the communications are all open, the roads in good condition, 
the trains running regularly to schedule, abundant supplies of stores for 
a week or more in advance already transported, and no probability of 
any new work for the Construction Corps for several weeks. Under these 
circumstances no imperative necessity exists for my personal presence, 
and I propose to return to Massachusetts and give some attention to my 
financial affairs, which are in much confusion, consequent upon my long 
and unexpected absence. 

In the way of compensation, I desire nothing. I cannot draw pay 
as Colonel, because I have not complied with the forms and cannot sub 
scribe to the certificates. All I ask is that cash I have actually paid out 
since my connection with the service shall be returned to me from the 
contingent or other fund. If acceptable to the Department, I will con 
tinue for a time to give my services in the same way; that is, by the re 
payment of actual expenditures, but the condition of my pecuniary and 
domestic affairs, and my business engagements are such as to prevent me 
from accepting any permanent position in connection with the army 
that will remove me from the vicinity of Boston. 

I find that my pay and commutations as Colonel would amount, for 
the time employed, to over $500, while my expenditures, portions of which 


have been for supplies used by assistants and foremen, do not much ex 
ceed $300, including traveling expenses. This is all I ask to be repaid. 

With many thanks for your kindness, and with a grateful sense of 
obligation for the consideration I have received at your hands, I remain, 

Yours very respectfully, 


To this letter no answer was returned. 

To prevent certain abuses by officers, I was compelled to issue 
the following in reference to the use of Military Railroads : 

GENERAL ORDERS, June 25 > 1862 

No. 7. 

The following regulations are published for the information and 
government of all concerned: 

Assistant Quartermasters and Commissaries are positively forbid 
den to load cars, or parts of cars, on any of the Military Railroads of the 
Department of the Rappahannock with any freights which are not 
strictly and properly included in Quartermaster and Commissary stores. 
They shall not load, or permit to be loaded by any employee, any articles 
for the private use of officers, whatever may be their rank or position, or 
for sutlers or individuals. 

Sutlers will be allowed transportation on the railroads of the De 
partment only on a permit from the Quartermaster-General. They shall 
certify the quantity and kind of goods, and the contents and marks of 
all boxes, barrels, and packages for which transportation is desired. Sut 
lers goods shall be carried only at the convenience of the Transportation 
Department, and must not, in any case, be allowed to interfere with 
army supplies. They shall at any time, and in any place, be subject to 
examination so long as they are under the control of the Transportation 
Department ; and for any false statement or concealment of facts, all the 
goods of said sutler will be liable to seizure and confiscation, and he will 
forfeit all right to transportation in future. 

The use of the names of officers upon boxes, trunks, or packages, 
shall not shield them from examination, or confiscation, if found to con 
tain improper articles; and if the name of an officer shall have been used 
without his consent, the goods shall be confiscated, and the party using 
it deprived of the right of transportation. 

Hospital stores must be directed to the senior medical officer at the 
place of destination, and to the care of the Superintendent of the road, 
who will use his discretion as to examination. 

Any officer who shall allow his name to be used by sutlers or others 
to secure transportation for that which is not his own personal property, 
will be considered as guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gen 

Articles intended for private use of officers and soldiers, may be 
sent by Adams Express Company; but all such articles will be subject 
to examination by the Provost Marshal. 

Freights for individuals residing 011 the line of any Military Rail 
road shall not be carried if the parties are known to be disloyal ; all other 
individual freights which it may be proper to transport over the Military 
Railroads of the Department shall be carried by Adams Express Com- 


pany, subject to such rules, to such charges, and to such examination as 
the Chief of Transportation may approve. 
By order of Major-Oeneral McDowell. 

H. HAUPT, A. D. C., 

Colonel of Staff, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
Department of the Rappahannock. 

The within regulations have been submitted to me, and meet with 
my approval. 


Brigadier- General. 


NOTWITHSTANDING my letter to the Secretary of War of 
Jime 20, 1862, I was not relieved. So long as General Mc 
Dowell remained in command, he was not willing that my services 
should be dispensed with, but on June 26, 1862, General Pope took 
command and McDowell assumed the position of a subordinate. 

General Pope did not recognize me in any way, and gave me 
no instructions. After this state of things had continued for some 
time, I asked McDowell for an explanation. He said that the 
subject had been frequently discussed, but that General Pope con 
sidered that a separate and independent department for the con 
struction and operation of the railroads was unnecessary. Rail 
roads, he contended, were used for the transportation of army sup 
plies and should be under the direction, control and management 
of the Quartermaster s Department. 

McDowell said all he could to convince Pope of his error ; had 
told him that under the old regime his army had never been prop 
erly supplied ; that if he had relied entirely upon his wagon trains, 
his movements could have been made with more celerity and cer 
tainty than when dependent upon the railroads, but that under my 
administration there had been no deficiencies that it would have 
been possible for the railroads to supply; but all his efforts were 
futile to change Pope s opinion. 

I thanked General McDowell for his frank explanation and 
said that, as I was no longer needed, I would return to Massachu 
setts. I called at the War Department and explained to Assistant 
Secretary Peter H. Watson the condition of affairs, and then re 
turned to my residence in Cambridge, having said to Watson that 
if I was again needed he could send for me, and requesting him 
to keep me posted occasionally as to movements. 

The first letter, received a few days after my return to Cam 
bridge, stated that things were still working smoothly, and re 
marked that if other departments had been as well organized and 
managed as the Military Railroads, "the war chariots would not 
have been so frequently off the track;" but soon after I received 
from Assistant Secretary Watson a telegram in these words: 



/ "Come back immediate!}- ; cannot get along without you; not a 
wheel moving on any of the roads." 

I returned as requested, and, after an interview with Watson, 
took an engine and rode to the nearest point to Pope s Headquar 
ters, which was at a farm house near Cedar Mountain, where the 
battle had occurred a few days before. During my absence, July 
\ 23, General Halleck had been placed in command as General-in- 
Chief of all the armies. 

I arrived at Headquarters at Cedar Mountain August 18, and 
found Generals Pope and McDowell with members of the staff in 
a farm house. I was cordially welcomed back, especially by Mc 
Dowell, and General Pope was quite civil. After a brief conver 
sation, he turned to his chief of staff, Colonel Geo. D. Ruggles, 
and directed him to issue any orders I might dictate, and then told 
me to dictate such orders as I considered necessary. They were as 
follows : 

CEDAR MOUNTAIN, August 18, 1862. 
No. 23. 

All railroads, and especially the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, 
within the limits of the Army of Virginia, are placed under the exclusive 
charge of Colonel Herman Haupt. 

No other officer, whatever be his rank, shall give any orders to any 
employe of the road, whether conductor, engineer, or other agent. No 
orders respecting the running of the trains, construction or repair of 
the roads, transportation of supplies or troops, shall be given, except by 
authority of these Headquarters through Colonel Haupt. 

All persons now employed in any way on these railroads will imme 
diately report to him, and will hereafter receive instructions from him 

All requisitions for transportation, and all applications for con 
struction or repair of roads, will be. made directly to him at Alexan 
dria, Va. 

All passes given by him to employes will be respected as if issued 
from these Headquarters. 

By command of Major-General Pope. 

Colonel and Chief of Staff. 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., August 19, 1862. 

Ordered: That the Department of Colonel Herman Haupt, for 
merly Aide-de-Camp to Major-General McDowell, and Chief of Con 
struction and Transportation in the Army of the Rappahannock, is here 
by extended to embrace all the railroads which are or may hereafter 
v be included within the lines of operation of the Army of Virginia; and 
the instructions of May 28, 1862 [see page 54] , are continued in full force. 


Secretary of War. 

After giving orders to Colonel Ruggles, General Pope mount 
ed his horse and rode off to review one of the Corps, but returned 


in haste in about an hour with the information that the enemy was 
in full force in front and advancing rapidly. He ordered an im 
mediate retreat, and turning to me requested that I would do all in 
my power to remove the stores at Culpepper, where a large amount 
had been collected. 

I immediately took an ambulance, and, in company with Gen 
eral B. S. Roberts, Chief of Cavalry, rode to Culpepper and suc 
ceeded in reloading all the stores and sending them to a safe dis 
tance in the rear. I then turned my attention to reorganizing the 
transportation, which had again been thrown into confusion from 
the usual causes military interference, neglect to unload and 
return cars, too many heads, and, as a consequence, conflicting or 
ders. General Pope had at last discovered that a railroad could 
not be run successfuHy with more than one person to give orders. 

The retrograde movement commenced August 18, and was so 
expeditious that, as General Pope reported the next day (August 
19), his whole army was posted behind the Rappahannock. 

On the 21st and 22d the enemy made unsuccessful attempts 
to force a passage in front, and then commenced a flank movement. 

On the afternoon of the 22d I returned to the front to ascer 
tain the condition of affairs and the requirements of the army in 
the way of transportation. I found General Pope at some dis 
tance from the railroad, seated under a tree on a hill which over 
looked the valley and the country beyond. I remained perhaps 
two hours, during which reports were made to the General to the 
effect that the enemy s wagons had for some time been moving up 
the river. 

This appeared to me to indicate a flank movement, and I asked 
General Pope how far he had his scouts up the river. The distance 
named was not great, and I then asked: "Is that far enough? 
What is to prevent the enemy from going even as far as Thorough 
fare Gap and getting behind you ?" 

He replied : "There is no danger." I did not wish to press 
him with further questions, thinking he might consider me im 
pertinent and that his sources of information were better than 
mine; but I felt uneasy, and soon after returned to the railroad, 
and started towards Alexandria. 

I had passed Catlett s and reached Manassas when the opera 
tor handed me a telegram from General Pope: "The enemy in 
largely superior force has turned my right flank/ and requesting 
me to retire the rolling stock to a safe distance. 

The next train following me had been fired into and captured, 
and about the same time Pope s Headquarters was raided by 
Stuart s cavalry. 

I could not withdraw the rolling stock, as General Pope had 


ordered a large amount to the front, and between it and myself 
there was a large force of the enemy. I should myself have been 
captured had I been half an hour later. 

At Burkes Station I met General Philip Kearney moving in 
cars to the front with part of his command. I told him I had im 
portant information, and asked him to come to the office where I 
could have a private conversation. I then showed him the tele 
gram from General Pope, and explained the situation. He asked 
me to let him have a pilot engine and two flat cars to send with a 
guard in advance of his trains. This was certainly a very haz 
ardous duty for train men, but they never hesitated on this, or on 
any other occasion, where the danger was as great as if they had 
been in line of battle. In fact, several of my men were killed and 
others captured during the war. 

The engine and cars were furnished, and that was the last I 
saw of General Kearney. He was killed at Chantilly. 

Neither did I see Generals Pope or McDowell again until 
after the battle. A few telegrams passed between us, when the 
wires were cut and all communication interrupted. 

Prom General Pope s report, I make a few extracts : 

On the night of the 24th a dispatch was received from Colonel 
Haupt that 30,000 men had demanded transportation and would be 
shipped this afternoon and next day. * * * 

On the night of the 25th I sent an order to Colonel Haupt to direct 
one of the strongest Corps to take part at Manassas Junction, and Gen. 
Franklin to march, as he could move as rapidly as by rail with the limited 
transportation.* * * 

At 8 p. M., on the night of the 26th, Jackson s force had passed 
Thoroughfare Gap. Had Franklin been at Centreville, or Cox and Stur- 
gis even as far as Bull Run, this move of Jackson s would have been im 

From August 18 to the morning of the 27th, my troops had been 
continuously marching and fighting night and day. 

August 31, there were not five horses to a company that could be 
forced- into a trot. * * * 

September 1st, near sunset, Kearney and Stevens were killed. 

The forces that joined General Pope were Reynolds Penn 
sylvania Reserves, 2,500, August 23 ; Heintzelman and Porter, 
August 26 and 27. The Pennsylvania Reserves and Heintzel- 
man s Corps, consisting of Hooker s and Kearney s commands, 
rendered efficient service. Porter s Corps took no part except in 
the action of August 30. "This small fraction of 20,500 men was 
all that drew trigger of the 91,000 veteran troops from Harrison s 

September 1 General Pope reported to General Halleck that 
the Army of the Potomac was demoralized owing to a change of 
commanders, and added : "Where there is no heart in the leaders 


and every disposition to hang back, much cannot be expected from 
the men." 

There seemed to be good reasons for this complaint. The 
distance from Alexandria to Bull Run is not twenty miles, and as 
most of the camps were four miles south of Alexandria, it would 
have been but a short day s march to join General Pope ; but troops 
were in camp several days demanding transportation by rail which 
could not be furnished. 

As General Pope says, less than one-fourth of the Army of the 
Potomac rendered him any assistance. Had they marched, nearly 
all could have rendered good service in the action, and the result 
would probably have been changed. 

It does not admit of question that, if the Army of the Potomac 
was ready to ride into action on railroad trains, it would have been 
in a better position for action after one day s march. To wait 
three or four days, as was the case, demanding rail transportation, 
seems to have been only an excuse. The trouble seems to have been 
an indisposition on the part of McOlellan to assist Pope in gaining 
a victory. In one case where I furnished them, cars remained for 
hours unused, and were then withdrawn and used to forward 

The successful flank movements of Lee s Army cut off all 
telegraphic communication with General Pope, and no further in 
struction could be received from him. I was compelled to use my 
own judgment and to assume much responsibility. I sent out 
operators with pocket instruments to push their way to the front, 
climb trees, make observations, and report all they saw and heard, 
and for some time all the information received at Washington came 
through my office. 

During this time the President was in a state of great anxiety, 
and frequently telegraphed to know if any further information 
had been received. 

The following letters and telegrams, many of which are not 
found in the records of the office, will throw light upon the opera 
tions of the campaign : 

Col. Herman Haupt, Superintendent of Railroads, Alexandria: 

I wish a train of 20 cars for subsistence to be kept constantly at the 
order of E. G. Beckwith, Chief of Commissary, at these Headquarters. 

This train is required to keep the troops supplied with rations, as 
I am about to send back all my wagons and wish no depot. I wish you 
would see that this train runs regularly according to its orders, as we 
depend upon it for the daily bread of this command. I desire also that 
you send nearly the whole of the rolling stock of the road to be switched 
off on the side-tracks, either at Catlett s or Warrenton Junction, so that 
in case of necessity I can carry off all the baggage and material of the 


army by railroad at the shortest notice. I shall have no wagons left 
here for that purpose. 

Inform General Halleck whether you station the trains at Catlett s 
or Warrenton Junction. JOHN POPE, 

Major-General Commanding. 

August 20, 1862. 
Major-General Pope: 

I am sending to Manassas to-night all cars loaded with stores not 
immediately required. \Ve will have 60 cars sent to Warrenton Junction 
to-morrow. Forage has all been sent forward, and, taking it for granted 
that you will want more, I have ordered a part of the 60 cars to be loaded 
with forage. 1 have informed General Halleck that 60 cars will be at 
Warrenton Junction to-morrow for use in case of need. You will under 
stand that this will concentrate our power at this end, and we will be 
short at Alexandria if troops are to be forwarded. 


August 20, 1862. 
Major-General Hailed: : 

I have ordered the siding at Rappahannock to be immediately ex 
tended to hold 20 cars of commissary stores. 20 cars more will be kept 
back at next station to replace the first when empty. Stores not imme 
diately required, I have sent and am sending to Manassas. To-morrow 
morning 60 empty cars will be at Warrenton Junction to use in case of 
necessity. If you intend to order Sturgis command forward, please let 
me know, as there will be some trouble in arranging transportation; all 

our power may be at this, the south end. -rrorri 

H. rTA UJrT, 

August 21, 1862. 
Colonel Geo. D. Ruggles: 

Sixty empty cars await your orders at Warrenton Junction. I have 
stationed J. D. Irish at Rappahannock Station, who will receive and 
carry out your directions about cars. Do you wish to move the baggage 
of the whole command? If so, how far to Catlett s, to Manassas, or 
where ? I am coming back this morning ; where will I find you ? 


August 21, 1862. 
Major-General Pope: 

Troops under command of General Kearney are understood to be 
lying in transports at Alexandria. No applications for transportation, 
and no replies to my inquiries about destination. Only orders received 
have been to remove the 34th Massachusetts to Banks this afternoon. At 
what point shall they leave the cars ? I am returning to Rappahannock. 


August 21, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Washington, D. C. : 

Please request the proper officer to keep me advised of troops that 
are coming, who is in command, what are their numbers, what their des 
tination, and other particulars required to arrange transportation. 20,000 
men have just been thrown upon us when we require another day of regu 
lar movement to remove those previously on our hands. 



August 21, 1862. 
Major-General Halleclc, Washington, D. C.: 

General Pope has this day informed me that he expects reinforce 
ments from the West and from other sources. Will you please inform 
me as early in advance as practicable, what will be the probable demands 
for transportation, and at what time, as it will be necessary to return 
power from the south end of the line, where it is held in reserve to meet 

the demand when it arises. TT TT . TTTirr( 

1. JtiAUlr 1. 

August 21, 1862. 
D. C. McCallum, Washington: 

I received your telegram on the field with General Pope; referred 
it at once to him. The condition of affairs is such that no reliable infor 
mation can be given in regard to the permanent demands of transporta 
tion. At present all the capacity of cars and engines is taxed to the 
utmost. Nothing is unloaded; no depots made; forage and commissary 
stores delivered from cars a large number; 60 empty cars held at War- 
renton Junction to meet a sudden demand. Cars also required at Alex 
andria to forward troops expected to arrive as reinforcements. General 
Pope says send no rolling stock away at present. 


RAPPAHANNOCK, 11 :40 p. M., August 21, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

I wish you to send engines enough to take away all the cars here 
early in the morning, should it become necessary. 


Major- General. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 22, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Troops will be arriving to-day or to-morrow at Alexandria for the 
line of the Rappahannock, probably in the next forty -eight (48) hours 

from ten to fifteen thousand (15,000). ^mr 

JQ. W. xiA.L.Lli.OiV, 


ALEXANDRIA, August 22. 
Colonel Haupt: 

General Kearney is here, and Major Keyes with orders from Gen 
eral Halleck to send the soldiers, now waiting here, forthwith. They will 
insist on getting them off without regard to schedule. 


August 22, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

We must conform to your present arrangement, but it is all wrong. 
Neither General Halleck or anyone else has any right to give orders in 
regard to trains in opposition to my instructions. I want the schedule 
restored to-morrow. You can run extras between, but the regulars must 
run, or I will decline all responsibility. The doctors have been assured 
that the schedule would be conformed to, and they must have their sick 
and wounded ready. I hope to reach Alexandria some time or other, 
when I will ascertain particulars. T TTm 

M. HAuJrl. 


Colonel Haupt: 

Push forward the troops to Catlett s at daybreak in the morning. 
Halt all troops coming up at Catlett s. Keep the road open. 
By command of Major-General Pope. 

Colonel and Chief of Staff. 

August 22, 1862. 
Geo. D. Ruggles, Chief of Staff: 

^ I had made arrangements to use all the power necessary before the 
receipt of your telegram, leaving only two engines at lower end to supply 
forage and commissary stores. My arrangements have been interfered 
with by orders, which the Superintendent says came from General Hal- 
leek, to forward troops as fast as they could be loaded. The schedule 
has been set aside, and everything is in confusion ; trains are on the road, 
and we cannot tell where, and cars cannot be sent in. 

I have censured the Superintendent in strong terms, and would 
suspend him if I had any one else capable of performing his duties. So 
long as I am responsible for the management, no orders except from my 
self or through me must be respected. 

I will investigate this matter, if I can succeed in reaching Alexan 
dria. The train which left Rappahannock before noon is still detained 
here, as well as three others that came after it ; all of them waiting orders. 
I fear much trouble, but will do all I can to keep things moving. 


August 22. 
J. H. Devereux: 

General Pope orders all the rolling stock to Alexandria to bring up 
troops. You can order it forward as you can use it. We have several 
engines and cars at Manassas waiting orders to go to Alexandria. Is it 
probable that they will be received before morning ? If not, do not keep 

train hands waiting all night. . ^^^ 

M. MAUJrl. 

August 22, 1862. 

Forward such troops as General Robinson may wish to send imme 
diately; send light engine in advance as pilot; examine well the bridges 
and the cut near Bristoe. Send flat car with engine. 


August 22, 1862. 
Major-General Pope: 

The 34th Massachusetts were not in a condition for immediate 
service, and I did not consider it proper to send them up. They were 
without caps and without cooked rations. By 9 A. M. 5,400 men in all 
will have reached Manassas. We will continue to send forward as rap 
idly as cars can be returned. We have sent all who have applied for 
transportation, except the 34th Massachusetts, and they will go at noon. 
I have made inquiries, but cannot find General Heintzelman; will send 
again. The troops sent, I understand, belong to General Kearney. Do 
you wish the instructions given to Colonel Wells, 34th Massachusetts, 
changed? H. HAUPT. 


August 22, 1862. 
Major-General Pope: 

The whole number of men sent to Catlett s at 9 A. M. was 6,600. 
Watson telegraphs that Cox s Division will reach the Avenue in two 
hours, and engines will be sent to bring the cars without unloading; this 
will help some. If we can get our engines back, we will be in shape to 
rush troops ahead with great rapidity, but none have as yet been re 
turned. I have a messenger out in search of General Heintzelman, but 

he has not yet been found. TT -n- A -rmrn 

1. MAUlrl. 

WASHINGTON, August 22, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

If you cannot move the trains beyond Catlett s Station, land all 
the troops at that place, and keep your rolling stock this side and out of 
danger. Expect large arrivals at Alexandria to-morrow, and make prep 
arations to take them forward to General Pope. 



August 22, 1862. 
Major-General Hallecfc: 

What you order in regard to subsistence is precisely in accordance 
with my directions. What is needed for subsistence must take pre 
cedence of everything else, but no accumulation of stores in front to be 


August 22, 1862, 
Colonel Haupt: 

Let no train pass Manassas except those containing troops. Trains 
containing troops will be sent forward to Catlett s at once. You had 
best send down to get the cars that are here, if there are no locomotives 
here; otherwise, telegraph to the proper person here to have them sent 
immediately to Catlett s. Everything that has to be transported by cars 

must be loaded before they leave here. -n^-n-n 


Major-General Commanding. 


August 22, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt : 

Say to Generals Heintzelman, Ccx and Sturgis, as they come for 
ward with their troops, to halt them at Warrenton Junction, or on Cedar 
Creek, and take up a position there against any force of the enemy 
advancing in the direction of Warrenton. The enemy has succeeded, in 
greatly superior numbers, in turning our right in the direction of Sul 
phur Spring and Warrenton. Ask General Heintzelman to endeavor to 
keep open the railroad communication between Cedar Creek and Rap- 
pahannock Station. I have ordered a force back to Catlett s Station. 
Send forward the provision trains to this point. 

Major-General Commanding. 


August 22, 1862. 
P. H. Watson: 

I have not been able to find General Heintzelman, and am now told 
that he is in Washington. You can possibly give him the message. 


August 22. 
Major-General Pope: 

Conductor of train No. 6 from Catlett s just in ; reports train fired 
into by rebels at Catlett s. He says they opened throttle, ran through 
rebels at full speed, and have just arrived. The train hands laid down 
to escape bullets. I will hold trains here for instructions. I can only 
explain the occurrence by supposing it to be a cavalry dash. We have 
2,100 troops here in cars. 

The fire was from both sides, but most heavy from the east side of 
the track. H HAUPT. 

August 22, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War: 

I fear that I may be compelled to-night to do that which may ap 
pear inhuman turn out the sick in the street. Doctors will persist in 
sending sick, often without papers, to get them off their hands, and we 
cannot send forward the troops if we must run our trains to Washington 
with sick, to stand for hours unloaded. My first care is to send forward 
troops, next forage and subsistence. I hope to start forage to-morrow 
noon. Have you any suggestions? 

About midnight I had been waiting in much anxiety for the 
arrival of four trains, then some hours overdue, when a conductor 
came in with a lantern in hand and reported that the trains had 
been stopped four miles out of town by order of General Sturgis, 
who had assumed control, and would not permit them to be moved. 
I immediately reported the situation to General Halleck, and then 
started, in company with Superintendent J. H. Devereux, to see 
the officer personally. 

When I reached his Headquarters, the General was seated in 
an arm-chair surrounded by his staff. His salutation was, "Well ! 
I am glad you have coine, for I have just sent a guard to your office 
to put you in arrest for disobedience of my orders in failing to 
transport my command." 

I replied that I was acting under the orders of General Hal 
leck ; that so far as my personal comfort was concerned, the arrest 
would be quite a relief, if he could lend me a blanket and allow me 
a corner of the floor, as I had not been able to sleep for a consider 
able time, and a few hours of rest would be quite refreshing, but 
he must understand that he was assuming a very grave responsibil 
ity ; the trains were loaded with wounded ; the surgeons with am 
bulances were waiting for them at the depot; the engines would 
^ soon be out of wood and water, and serious delays would be caused 
in the forwarding of troops to General Pope. 


The General exclaimed in an excited tone : "I don t care for 
John Pope a pinch of owl dung !" 

He then called one of his staff and whispered something which 
I did not hear, but learned subsequently that he had sent an order 
to the engineers to cut loose from their trains, run to Alexandria 
for wood and water and then return. As there was but a single 
track and no one capable of performing the Munchausen feat of 
picking up the engines and carrying them around the trains, the 
order could not be executed. 

Soon after, an Orderly rode up and delivered to me a dispatch 
from General Halleck in these words: "Eo military officer has 
any authority to interfere with your control over railroads. Show 
this to General Sturgis, and if he attempts to interfere, I will 
arrest him." 

I tried to make the General comprehend this, but he seemed 
to think that the dispatch was from General Pope, and several 
times repeated his former declaration: "I don t care for John 
Pope a pinch," etc. 

At last Devereux took the paper from my hands and gave it to 
the Chief of Staff with the request that he try to make his chief 
acquainted with the contents. 

He was successful at length in conveying the information that 
the telegram was not from General Pope but from General Halleck. 
"Who did you say, General Halleck ? Yes, I respect his authority. 
What does"he say ?" 

"He says if you interfere with the railroads he will put you 
in arrest." 

"He does, does he ? Well, then, take your d d railroad !" 

This interference deranged the trains for some time and kept 
at least 10,000 men out of the battle. Assistant Secretary Watson 
wished me to prefer charges and have the General court-martialed, 
but as he was not in his normal condition at the time, and was after 
wards willing to carry out instructions and acknowledged that the 
delay had been his own fault, I let the matter drop. 

There were doubtless others who entertained the same feelings 
towards General Pope, and who remained in camp demanding rail 
road transportation, knowing they could march to the field in one- 
third of the time required to furnish it. 

The road was but a single track, with a limited equipment of 
cars and engines, and these were detained for long periods at the 
front by failure of the proper officers to unload and return cars. 
As a consequence it was impossible to forward troops with the 
rapidity that would otherwise have been practicable; besides, it 
was simply absurd to wait for days to secure rail transportation 
when a march of a single day would have carried them to the battle- 


field, particularly when it is considered that in marching they 
would have been in position for prompt action, while in cars they 
were defenseless. 

These official telegrams are instructive : 

August 23, 1862. 
McCrickett : 

General Pope orders to push forward all troops at Catlett s at day 
break. Have everything ready, that there is no delay. Start before day 
light rather than later. 

August 23, 1862. 

As it is now day there seems to be no necessity for the pilot engine. 
The troops should all go forward as far as the track is in order, then 
march; there should be no delay. See General Kearney immediately. 
Let engine return and report the condition of affairs, which you will 
please telegraph immediately. 

August 23, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Washington, D. C. : 

We have forwarded up to this time, since yesterday afternoon, 6,600 
men to Catlett s. This throws our power at the other end. Until it can 
be returned our capacity is very limited. We will send an engine over 
to bring troops of Cox s Division to Alexandria and make up train in 
readiness to send forward when engines return. Devereux is active and 
efficient. Being compelled to hold rolling stock in readiness to remove 
supplies in case of an attack in front, this flank movement puts us in 
bad shape. I have not been able as yet to hear from Catlett s this morn 
ing. The confusion there last night must have been awful. Nearly all 
our wagons are there. Your offer to send cars will expedite matters 
some. I will keep you advised of everything of importance. 


August 23, 1862, 9 :45 A. M. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

Is it not of the utmost importance to prevent a great accumulation 
of power and rolling stock at the outer end of the road? If the enemy 
should, by sudden dash, burn a bridge or set the trains on fire, it would 
for the time being put it out of our power to send forward either regi- 
ments or supplies. P.H.WATSON, 

Assistant Secretary. 

August 24, 1862, 10:20 A. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

You are, as usual, perfectly right. It is not my intention to accu 
mulate power at the other end. The orders are, run up, unload and 
return immediately to Manassas ; there pass trains and proceed to Alex 
andria. None of the power has yet been returned, and I have not to this 
time been able to get an answer why. 



August 23, 1862, 10:45 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Can you manage in some way to make it understood at the other 
end of the road that cars can be used either for transportation or for 
warehouses, but not for both; that they can receive reinforcements and 
supplies only by returning the cars? p H WATSON 

Assistant Secretary of War. 

August 23, 1862. 
General Pope : 

The number of troops now sent forward is 6,600; 1,500 more now 
marching up and transportation ready for them. After repeated attempts 
for hours to get answer, I learned that the track is clear, the bridges 
safe, and that six engines and trains are now ready to return to Alexan 
dria. There must have been great delay somewhere. Please order some 
competent officer to see that the cars are unloaded and returned. There 
will be no relaxation of effort on our part so long as we can hold out. 
Shall the place of unloading be Warrenton or Catlett s for the re 
mainder? Nine trains will be returned in three hours, if no accident 


August 23, 1862. 
Major-General Pope: 

After consulting with General Kearney I have ordered one regiment 
to be sent to Catlett s immediately with a small engine, one flat car, 
and fifty men in advance. The other troops will be advanced as rapidly 

as possible H. HAUPT. 

August 23, 1862. " 1 

After reaching Catlett s General Eobinson will send back a pilot 
engine to give you notice, when, if the coast is clear, send forward the 
whole force to Warrenton, or as near it as they can get. 


August 23, 1862. 
P. H. Watson: 

If General Hooker is in Washington, please ask him if it will suit 
him to start in the morning instead of this night. Calls have been made 
on transportation, which were not expected, and delays from various 
causes make returns of power slow. We keep running day and night, 
eat little and sleep almost none. 20,000 more troops just arrived. 


August 23, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Where is General Heintzelman s command ? Have any of his troops 
passed Manassas Junction ? What troops and whose are on the way ? 




RAPPAHANNOCK, August 23, 1862, 1 ill A. M. 
Colonel H. Haupt : 

Run all the trains here back till they meet the first troops at War- 
renton Junction or Catlett s. Unload them there and then send all the 
cars and locomotives back to Alexandria to bring up troops. 
By command of Major-General Pope. 

.,, . Colonel and Chief of Staff. 

August 23, 1862, M. 
Colonel Haupt : 

Brought all the cars and stores away excepting about three loads 
forage which were unloaded last night and burned this p. M. General 
Pope is, I think, going towards Warrenton with his army; has given in- 
stmctions for train of wagons to be unloaded here with C. S., and then 
sent there under a strong escort; will do what we can to work empty 
cars back promptly. J.D.IRISH. 

Colonel Haupt: 

Hurry forward those troops from Catlett s to Warrenton to-night 
as fast as you possibly can. JOHN POPE, 


MANASSAS, August 23, 1862. 
H. Haupt and J. H. Devereux: 

It is expected that an attack will be made on this place to-night by 
strong cavalry force, and that an attempt will be made to burn the com 
missary and destroy the stores lying at this place. I have one loaded 
and a few empty cars here. Colonel Pierce has telegraphed to General 
Sturgis for reinforcements. I do not know how reliable this may be, 
but consider it a duty to advise you. McCRICKETT 

August 23, 1862, 11 :30 p. M. 

You are not right in holding trains at Junction. You cannot be 
at a loss for sidings when you have the Gap and Centreville Roads to 
stand cars upon. The Gap intersection is at some distance, but it would 
be very easy to order trains forward by a preconcerted signal with light. 
A very moderate amount of ingenuity should devise expedients to avoid 
delay which is excessive. H. HAUPT. 

August 23, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

Two (2) regiments of Cox s Division will reach here within an hour 
or two. Can they be sent forward to Manassas, or such other point as 
they are required, in the same cars in which they came here? Do you 
find any difficulty in managing the railroad ? If Quartermaster or other 
officers refuse or neglect to obey your orders, report them immediately, 
and a prompt and effectual remedy will be applied. Answer immedi 
ately. P. H. WATSON, 

Assistant Secretary of War. 


HEADQUARTERS, August 23, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Hurry forward with all possible despatch the trains of troops, or our 
trains will be in danger. JOHN POPE, 

Major-General Commanding. 

ALEXANDRIA, VA., August 23, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

I have very peremptory orders from the General-in-Chief to get my 
Division off by railroad to-night. The General hoped that I would be 
able to get in behind Kearney and ahead of Hooker. The greater part of 
my Division is now lying along the road waiting for transportation, and 
I trust you will enable me to report to the General that I have left. 


M ajor- General. 

ALEXANDRIA, August 23, 1862. 
General S. Sturgis: 

If ordered by either General Halleck or General Pope, I will be 
most happy to comply with your wishes, and give your command prece 
dence of all others, but until so ordered, or until I have reason to believe 
that these officers desire General Hooker s command to be separated and 
carried forward at intervals, I see no propriety in the course you wish 
me to pursue. I beg leave respectfully to direct your attention to the 
enclosed copy of General Halleck s order forbidding interference. We 
will be able to load your troops at daylight to-morrow morning. 
Very respectfully yours, H. HAUPT, 

Colonel and Chief of Transportation. 

ALEXANDRIA, VA., August 23, 1862. 
Colonel : 

In order to get my Division off to the field and to relieve you of any 
responsibility in the matter, I hereby assume military control of such 
cars as may arrive from whatever direction, as far as placing my Division 
on board may go. I trust, therefore, that you will, regardless of what 
troops may arrive, place a sufficient number of cars near Clouds Mills to 
transport eight regiments to Warrenton Junction. 

I am, Colonel, very respectfully yours, S. STURGIS, 

Colonel Haupt, Superintendent Railroads. 

!N"o communications were received on August 24 or afterwards 
from General Pope; my reports were made and instructions re 
ceived until the close of the campaign from the President, Secre 
tary Stanton, Assistant Secretary Watson and Generals Halleck 
and McClellan. 

WASHINGTON, August 23, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

No military officer will give any orders to your subordinates, except 
through you ; nor will any of them attempt to interfere with the running 
of trains. Your orders must come from General Pope, or myself, except 
in case of an attack on the road, when you will consult with the Com 
mander of the nearest forces. H. W. HALLECK, 



WASHINGTON, August 24, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

The railroad is entirely under your control. No military officer 
has any right to interfere with it. You were notified to this effect this 
morning. Your orders are supreme. By order 


August 24, 1862, 4:35 A. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

As I receive no answer to telegrams to General Pope, I will ask 
if all the troops are to be sent to Warrenton Junction. Is not Catlett s 
preferable? The shorter the distance the less will be the time required 
to unload and return cars. The number of trains is so large that 
Manassas is the only place at which they can be passed. 

We have advices of ten trains now returning, but none are in yet. 
As soon as they are in, we can return 10,000 men. We are just starting 
1,000 men, 38th Ohio, in Baltimore & Ohio cars. I suppose it is your 
wish that commands should go as much as possible together. 

Have you directed that Sturgis command should take precedence 
of all others ? It is so stated, but the orders should be sent to me. 

The agent at Manassas reports that it is expected that an attack 
will be made on that place to-night by a strong cavalry force. I report 
the statement, but attach no importance to it. I do not learn that it 
rests on any good foundation. 

A note from General Sturgis has just been received; he says you 
gave peremptory orders that he should be sent after Kearney s batteries. 
Whatever you direct will be carried out. In the absence of instructions 
we will finish Hooker and Kearney before commencing on Sturgis. 
We can get all away by to-morrow morning if no accident occurs. 


August 24, 1862, 6:30 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt : 

It is thought probable that not only cannon, but also infantry will 
have to march out to Warrenton Junction. It is obvious that the capac 
ity of the railroad is unequal to the transportation of one-half the troops 
that will have to go out. P. H. WATSON, 

Assistant Secretary of War.- 

August 24, 10 :20 A. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

Just received answer from Manassas that none of the engines sent 
to Catlett s with troops have returned. I have ordered an empty engine 
to go forward cautiously, ascertain cause of detention and report. 


August 24, 1862, 10:35 A. M. 
Major-General Pope: 

We expect to clear out all the troops now here and all that are ex 
pected to-day as at present advised. Forage and commissary also will be 
sent. No trains were dispatched since yesterday afternoon in conse 
quence of interference of General Sturgis, who took military possession 


of the railroads and ordered me in arrest. I appealed to General Hal- 
leek, who ordered General Sturgis to cease further interference, or he 
would be placed in arrest himself. Details when I see you. 


August 24, 1862, 11:07 A. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

If you can find General Hooker, who is said to be in Washington, 
please say to him that we expect to carry his whole force to-morrow ; but,, 
to do it, the trains must be loaded in 15 minutes, and everything should 
be beside the track. To-night we carry supplies, ammunition and forage ; 
four or five trains. I have informed General Sturgis that he has for 
feited all claim for transportation until others are supplied and can have 
no more cars; he says, all right. I will try to see General Halleck to 
morrow. H. HAUPT. 

August 24, 1862, 11:15 A. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

I am waiting in intense anxiety to know what has become of return 
trains. I ordered, some time ago, a reconnoitering engine to go forward ; 
no report as yet. If power is returned we can forward large numbers 
10,000 per day. Until I can get answer I can give no information. Not 
an engine has yet returned of all that went up the road. I learn that 
some reached Warrenton Junction, which is very favorable intelligence 
thus far, but why they are not sent back I am as yet unable to ascertain. 


August 24, 1862, 11:25 A. M. 

General Kearney : 

You telegraphed to-day for another battery; it cannot be sent in- 
morning, as it is not unloaded from boats. H. HAUPT. 

August 24, 1862, 1:05 p. M. 
Major-General Pope: 

None of the engines sent from Manassas to Catlett s have returned 
to Manassas. I have ordered an engine to go forward to reconnoiter^. 
return and report cause of detention. 

Sturgis asks transportation for 10,000 men, horses and baggage. 
It is clear that his command should march to Manassas, 18 miles, and 
leave the transportation to those who need it more. 

Hooker s advance, 2,000 men, is now in transports. 


August 24, 1862, 1:15 p. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

Your dispatch enables me to resume operations on the road this 
morning. The blockade, consequent upon the interference, continued 
half a day. I have commenced sending forward General Sturgis Divis 
ion, as General Hooker informed me that all of his troops had not 
arrived, and he would be satisfied to get off this evening. We expect 
during the day and night to clear out all the troops here except the fresh 
arrivals, and take also some forage and stores, two trains of which are 
now going forward. The Quartermaster informs me of 20,000 more 
troops by transport, and also a lot by rail. Our capacity, under favor- 


able circumstances, is 20,000 troops per day, but accidents and detentions 
will greatly reduce it. If the troops are to go by rail, I should know the 
order in which they are to go, and the points of destination. Please 
direct that the information be communicated to me so that I may arrange 
for it. H. HAUPT. 

August 24, 1862, 1:25 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

General Hooker was in Alexandria last night, but I will send to 
Willard s and see if he is there. I do not know any other place that he 
frequents. Be patient as possible with the Generals ; some of them will 
trouble you more than they will the enemy. 

You can accomplish more than I expected you could under the 
adverse circumstances against which you have had to work. 

If General Hooker is not heard from within an hour, give direction 
to the next officer under him, or to the Colonels of the regiments, who, 
wherever they are, must have their men ready to embark. If they refuse 
to go, report the fact, and load up the train with other troops and send 
them forward. There must be no stop to the movement of the troops out 
ward, except to send supplies. P. H. W ATSON > 

Assistant Secretary. 

August 24, 1862, 3 :30 p. M. 

We are, of course, perfectly powerless to send a man until you can 
return us the power now up the road. We have been waiting all day 
for it in a state of the greatest anxiety and impatience. Cannot you 
contrive in some way to return it sooner? Not a train yet back, and 
some out 24 hours. The trains are run on your orders. Where do you 
get your information about the enemy ? H. HAUPT. 

August 24, 1862, 7 :30 p. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

Please inform Secretary Stanton and General Halleck that another 
day is lost in our transportation by the neglect of General Sturgis officers 
to load the cars furnished to them. Hearing nothing from the trains, I 
went in search of them and found them still unloaded and no possibility 
of moving anything until they are out of the way. I have seen General 
Sturgis and informed him that no more cars can be furnished him until 
others are supplied. 

He frankly admitted that the fault was in his men; he ordered 
them to unload, but they did not. 

I ordered back nearly all the trains, and will load them to-night 
with supplies and ammunition, and send forward as fast as possible in 
preference to troops. I must go to the Department and explain position 
of affairs, but have been incessantly engaged day and night for a week. 
Will try to come to-morrow. H. HAUPT. 

August 25, 1862, 5 :05 A. M. 
Major-General Pope: 

We will get off Hooker s command during the day and night. 
Sturgis has been the cause, directly and indirectly, of more than 24 hours 
delay in transportation of troops and supplies. 




A Baltimore & Ohio engine, sent forward, blocked the track six 
hours by getting out of order on the road. When cleared, an engine got 
off the track ; this caused more delay. I have now ordered that no more 
cars shall be loaded on track south of Alexandria. The loading of troops 
must all be done on Washington track, so as to keep main track clear. 

We have just dispatched six trains for Hooker. General Heintzel- 
man and staff are in car just moving off. Cox will go forward in morn 

Long bridge broke with Baltimore engine yesterday; it is now re 

Transportation will be furnished in the following order: Sub 
sistence for men, forage, ammunition, hospital stores, troops, artillery, 
horses, wagons. 

Artillery and some of the infantry should march; horses should be 

I have requested General Halleck to detail Major Keyes to settle 
question of priority of troops, and say in what order they shall be for 
warded. There is a constant contest for priority of transportation. We 
will keep moving night and day. All stores have been forwarded as fast 
as delivered to us; the yard is quite clear of any forage and subsistence. 


August 25, 1862, 9 :45 A. M. 
Major-General Pope : 

I have not only sent forward every car loaded with forage and com 
missary stores that has been delivered to us, but I have gone personally 
late at night to the Commissary and Quartermaster to urge them to load 
cars, even beyond their requisitions, that there should be no deficiency. 

The trouble is that Ferguson has not the grain to send. We are 
this moment advised of the arrival of some in Washington. An engine 
is already there to bring it. It shall have precedence over all other 

All of Hooker s command did not get off last night. The number 
of men was not correctly reported at this office, and the cars sent were 
not fully loaded. This will detain Cox s command perhaps until even 
ing. We will keep moving and do all we can. 


August 25, 1862, 10 :40 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

When you cannot get orders from General Pope, land the troops 
where you deem most convenient, but as near to General Pope s army as 

youean - H. W. HALLECK, 


August 25, 1862, 11 :36 p. M. 
Major-General Pope: 

Your servant Anderson has not reported at this hour, 11:20 p. M. 
We can send him at 6. A. M. If he is not here, then he can go at 11 A. M. 
We have arranged to resume schedule to-morrow. Some of General 
Hooker s command, I am just informed, are still here. He had 5,600 
men to forward, and we sent cars for 6,000. They could not have been 
properly loaded. I will ask General Halleck to send Major Keyes to 


superintend the loading hereafter, and insist on a proper number to each 
car. Our conductors can do nothing; they are not obeyed. Cars have 
carried 60 each, but I estimate capacity at 50 only. 


I find but few telegrams throwing light upon important move 
ments this day. Many of my papers have been lost in consequence 
of handling by other parties in my absence. It appears, however, 
that I sent a communication to General Halleck making sugges 
tions as to certain movements, which were approved, and I was 
directed to call upon Generals Smith, Sturgis, Slocum or any other 
General Officer I could find for forces necessary to carry out the 
suggestions. I find a copy of a telegram from General Hancock to 
General Halleck which ref ers to this order. 

August 26, 1862, 8 :50 A. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

In addition to the transportation for 1,200 men, some other trains 
are coming and are this side of Manassas. We may have in a few hours 
transportation for 3,000 or 4,000. They can be advanced as far as pos 
sible by rail, then marched forward. 

I am just informed that the four trains following the engine Sec 
retary are captured, and that the rebels are approaching Manassas with 
artillery. These may be exaggerations, but the operator and agent are 
leaving, and prompt action is required. 

It is unfortunate that a portion of our forces did not march. I 
await instructions. H. HATJPT. 

August 26, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck: 

Two soldiers just arrived from Manassas at Fairfax ; report bridges 
all right between these points. Good, very good so far. This was my 
greatest source of anxiety. H. HAUPT. 

August 26, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck: 

The following telegram has just been received from Manassas : 
The engine Secretary was being followed by four other trains, 
which are in great danger, as there is no communication. The wire is cut 
between Manassas and Warrenton. We have transportation for 1,200 
men; this number might be sent to Manassas to protect the road while 
we repair it. I suppose the bridge at Bristoe will be destroyed. 


August 26, 1862, 9 :25 A. M. 
Colonel H. HaupL- 

General Smith, General Slocum, General Sturgis, or any other 
General Officer you can find, will immediately send all the men you can 
transport to Bristoe Bridge or Manassas Junction. Show this order. 




August 26, 1862. 
General Halleck : 

Operator at Manassas just says : "I am off now sure." I directed 
the agent to run the two engines at Manassas forward, wait until the last 
moment, and then escape on the engine if a real necessity existed. 
Operator had just commenced message to Headquarters of General Pope 
when wire was cut. It is clear now that the railroad can be relied upon 
only for supplies. No more troops can be forwarded; by marching they 
will protect communication; in cars they are helpless. Our capacity 
by this raid will be much reduced. 

HEADQUARTERS, August 26, 1862. 
General Halleclc. 

SIR: I have just received your dispatch addressed to Generals 
Smith, Sturgis and Slocum, or any General Officers you can find, and 
being senior officer here, will send forward all the infantry the railroad 
can furnish transportation for, and as much artillery as can be moved 
to the point or points designated. Colonel Haupt has requested a force 
to protect the bridge at Bull Run, which I will furnish unless otherwise 
instructed by you. W.S.HANCOCK, 

Brigadier-General Commanding Sixth Army Corps. 

The above telegram appears to have been forwarded by Gen 
eral Hancock at 12 :15 A. M. on the morning of the 26th, received 
at 2 :40 A. M. and copy sent to me from War Department and 
received at Alexandria 11 :30 p. M. 

August 26, 1862, 11 A. M. 
D. C.NcCallum: 

So far Bull Run is safe. Four trains empty cars lost at Bristoe. 
Rebels have possession of Manassas. Some of our artillery taken and 
used against us. Damage at Manassas not known. Sent out 3,000 men 
last night, also a large wrecking and construction force to Union Mills, 
where track is blocked by a collision in rear. -a- HAUPT 

August 26, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

No. 6 train, engine Secretary, was fired into by a party of Secesh 
cavalry, some say about 500 strong. Ties were piled on track, but engine 
took good run at them and scattered them from track. Engine well 
riddled by bullets. 


ALEXANDRIA, August 26, 1862. 

Transportation on the Military Railroads of Virginia will be fur 
nished in the following order : 

1. Subsistence for men in the field. 

2. Forage for horses. 

3. Ammunition. 

4. Hospital stores. 

5. Infantry regiments that have seen service, with Staff horses. 

6. Infantry regiments composed of raw troops. 


7. Batteries, except in cases of urgent necessity, will march. 

8. Cavalry will march. 

9. Mules and wagon-horses will be driven. 

10. Wagons, ambulances and other vehicles will be hauled over the 
common roads. 

It must be understood distinctly, that nothing required for the use 
of the Army will ever be refused transportation w r hen it can be afforded 
without excluding other transportation entitled to priority. 

The proper duty of the railroad is to forward supplies. It cannot, 
in addition thereto, transport large armies on short notice, but it can, 
with present facilities, remove ten thousand men per day if no accident 
occurs, and if there is no delay in loading and unloading. 

No cars will hereafter be loaded on the main track south of Alex 
andria. The proper place of shipment is on the Washington track west 
of Alexandria. 

Colonel and Chief of Construction and Transportation, 

Army of Virginia. 

August 27 was a very eventful day, and the telegrams are of 
much interest. Unfortunately the operators neglected, in most 
cases, to record on the face of the dispatch the hour of forwarding 
and receiving. 

It appears that in consequence of orders from General Halleck 
I made search for some General Officer to whom his instructions 
could be communicated, but could find none. The attractions of 
Washington kept most of the General Officers in that city. 

Colonel Scammon, of Cox s brigade, was sent out after mid 
night. In Colonel Scammon s report he states that, in obedience 
to the orders of the General commanding the Army, received 
through Colonel Haupt, he went, on the morning of the 27th, to 
Bull Run bridge with the llth and 12th Ohio Volunteers. General 
Taylor was found severely wounded and turned over the command 
to Colonel Scammon. 

Fight was maintained by Colonel Scammon from 8 :30 A. M. 
until 3 :30 p. M., when he was forced to retire, marching to Alexan 
dria, which he reached next day 10 A. M., August 28. 

He reported the force of the enemy actually engaged to be 
six regiments of infantry, six pieces of artillery, and also a stray 
force of cavalry of from 1,000 to 5,000. 

The conduct of the New Jersey brigade, after General Tay 
lor s fall, was reported to be discreditable. They retreated in dis 
order along the railroad ; only one lieutenant and twelve or four 
teen men remained to help fight the enemy. 

At 4:25 A. M. a telegram was sent to President Lincoln in 
forming him that the forces sent out the previous night had held 
Bull Run bridge until twenty minutes of the time of filing the 
message, but if not then destroyed, it probably would be, which 
elicited in reply the inquiry : 


"What became of our forces which held the bridge until 20 
minutes ago, as you say V 

At 6 :35 A. M. General Halleck was notified of the situation, 
and complaint made of the indisposition of troops to go forward. 
Several other telegrams were sent to the President and to General 
Halleck advising them of the situation, and at 11 A. M. I ventured 
to suggest a movement of considerable importance, with a view to 
protect the communication and force supplies forward. At 11 :50 
A. M. General Halleck replied : "If you can see General McClel- 
lan, consult him. If not, go ahead as you propose." 

The situation in which I was placed at this time was one 
which compelled me to assume responsibilities. I was cut off from 
all communication with General Pope, and the only information 
that could be received at Washington was through operators and 
assistants connected with my department, who were directed to 
advance as far as possible under cover of the brush, climb trees, 
and report observations. General Halleck took no offense at what 
might have been considered an impertinence in suggesting military 



AFTER receiving instructions to consult General McClellan, of 
whose expected arrival I had not been advised, I repaired to 
the wharf, procured a row-boat and searched for him amongst the 
transports that had arrived. I found the General in the cabin of 
a steamer some distance below Alexandria, surrounded by members 
of his staff. I showed him the telegrams, and he came with me 
in my boat to the office. Here I explained fully the situation. 
Taylor s brigade had been cut up; Colonel Scammon had been 
holding the bridge at Bull Run and was in great danger; Pope s 
army was out of forage for horses and rations for men, and to re 
lieve them was an imperative necessity. I explained my plans for 
giving them relief, but a strong force was necessary to protect the 

General McClellan listened, and, when I ceased, remarked 
that he could not approve the plan ; that it "would be attended with 

I reminded the General that military operations were usually 
v attended with risk, but that I did not consider the risk in this case 
excessive. The railroad was in our possession nearly to Bull Run. 
We could go as far as it was quite safe on the trains, then dis 
mount skirmishers to advance and feel their way, keeping the 
trains in rear. If the enemy was found in force, they could retire, 
take the trains and be run back to a safe distance. 

My representations and arguments availed nothing ; the Gen 
eral would not give his consent, or assume any responsibility, and 
would give no orders, instructions, or suggestions of any kind ! ! 

After a time the General had a sudden attack of indisposition, 
became very pale, and asked if I had any brandy. 

I replied that I did not use it, but would send for some. 

On its arrival he drank a portion, which revived him. He 
then wrote a dispatch to General Halleck, which original dispatch, 
in his own handwriting, is now before me, forwarded at 2 p. M. 
In it he reports, from information I had given him, that Taylor s 
brigade is either cut to pieces or captured, and that some of Cox s 
troops were engaged with the enemy. He recommended the de- 



fense around Washington be made secure; that some cavalry be 
sent out towards Gainesville to mobilize a couple of corps as soon 
as possible, but not to advance there until they could have artillery 
and cavalry. 

I do not wish to criticise General McClellan or any one else. 
There have been too many critics, but it is worthy of note that in 
this dispatch, the first sent after landing, there is no suggestion of 
any relief for the army fighting in the field against superior num 
bers and out of supplies. 

If General Pope s report is reliable, there were over 90,000 
troops returned from the Peninsula, and only about 20,000 in the 
fight, leaving the balance to be protected by the forts around Wash 

After sending this telegram, General McClellan mounted his 
horse and rode off, leaving me in a condition of great dissatisfaction 
and uncertainty. I had been directed to consult with him, and 
the consultation had resulted in no decision whatever. 

Had I been so fortunate as not to have found General McClel 
lan I could have acted, but my hands were tied. The army was 
suffering and in danger. I could not remain quiet. I determined 
to assume responsibility, but as I considered it proper to notify 
General McClellan, I sent him, at 9 :50 p. M., a notice that at 4 
A. M. I proposed to start a wrecking and construction train bound 
for Bull Run ; also train with forage and subsistence. I asked for 
200 sharpshooters only as train guard to report at 4 A. M., and 
stated that if the troops did not report, ive would go without them. 

No answer was received to this dispatch, and near midnight I 
took a lantern and visited the camps four miles down the road to 
see if I could not get a guard. I found General Hancock in bed 
in his tent. He arose immediately and cheerfully agreed to give 
me the force I required, promising that they should be on hand at 
4 A. M. punctually. They were there on time and performed good 
service in the operations of the next day. 

August 27, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck: 

I have been on the search for some general officers, but can find 
none. Cox is in Washington; Sturgis is in the field; Smith I can learn 
nothing about. I have found Colonels Scammon and White, of Cox s 
command, who will be ready in an hour. I will now go to other camps 
and endeavor to drum up more. The engine Secretary, two miles this 
side of Bull Run bridge, ran into the rear end of another train, doing 
serious damage. The track is blocked. I will send out 3,000 or 4,000 
troops, but they can do no more to-night than hold Bull Run bridge. The 
damage at Manassas cannot now be helped. Whatever it is, has been 
already done. 


August 27, 1862, 4:25 A. M. 
A. Lincoln, President: 

Intelligence received within twenty minutes informs me that the 
enemy are advancing and have crossed Bull Run bridge; if it is not 
destroyed, it probably will be. The forces sent by us last night held it 
until that time. H. HAUPT. 

August 27, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

What became of our forces which held the bridge till twenty 
minutes ago, as you say ?* A. LINCOLN. 

August 27, 1862, 6:35 A. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

I have been using incessant exertions all night to get the 3,000 
troops off, but the last did not leave until daylight. 

There appeared to be a disposition to use up the night before get 
ting to the scene of action. 

Three thousand men, with abundance of ammunition, have gone 
forward. Information from Fairfax during the night stated that two pieces- 
of one of our batteries were taken at Manassas, our men cut up, number 
not stated. They were surrounded, one man escaping wounded to Fair 
fax. The enemy had scouts out in every direction. A party appeared to- 
be moving toward Union Mills, where our track is blocked; if so, Bull 
Run bridge may be destroyed. I give the information as I received it* 
As intelligence comes in, I will transmit it to you. 


August 27, 1862, 10:05 A. M. 
General Halleck : 

I ordered troop trains to proceed to Union Mills, four miles north 
of Manassas, where collision occurred, then march troops to Bull Run; 
leave 500 men to protect bridge, and balance, 2,500, to proceed ta 
Manassas. The last of the troop trains was unloaded at Union Mills and 
returned to Fairfax Station, six miles; report fighting two miles beyond 
Bull Run bridge, and cannonading in direction of Manassas. Further 
information as soon as received. H. HAUPT. 

August 26, 1862. 
. President Lincoln: 

Two operators from Manassas have gone up the Gap road towards 
Gainesville, with instruments, to get as near as possible to the scene of 
action, make connection with the wire and report. You are probably ad 
vised of this fact, but if you are, there is no harm in repeating, and if 
you are not, it will be of interest to you. H. HAUPT. 

August 27, 1862, 11 A. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

I venture the suggestion : As soon as the cars return which carried 
troops to Union Mills, I propose to load the whole with subsistence, put 
on top and inside 1,500 or 2,000 more men, and endeavor by all means to 
work the trains through. 

NOTE. See answer August 28, page 107. 



The most serious matter, if true, is the capture of some pieces of 
our artillery, which, if turned against our train, would render our ad 
vance impossible. 

I am told that a battery left here yesterday, and should this morn 
ing be near Manassas, but I fear it has no infantry support. 

I am not advised of any movements except those made under my 
direction by rail. 

Do you approve sending forward the subsistence train in the man 
ner proposed ? If so, please answer. 

I would suggest that artillery with a good infantry support should 
be sent forward immediately. I propose this plan: Load a battery, or 
part of a battery, on cars; carry with it a sufficient infantry support. 
Let this precede the supply trains to some point where the battery can 
be unloaded and advanced by common road to Manassas to recapture, if 
possible, the pieces taken and prevent them from being used against the 
train. I have a strong force, one wrecking and one construction train, 
now on the ground, with very efficient men. The track will be cleared 
and reconstructed in the shortest possible time, so as to advance trains. 


August 27, 1862, 11:50 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

If you can see General McClellan, consult him. If not, go ahead 
as you propose. H. W. HAIXECK. . 


General Halleck, Alexandria: 

I learn that Taylor s brigade, sent this morning to Bull Kun bridge, 
is either cut to pieces or captured ; that the force against them had many 
guns and about five thousand (5,000) infantry, receiving reinforcements 
every moment ; also that Gainesville is in possession of the enemy. Please 
send some cavalry out towards Dranesville via Chain Bridge to watch 
Lewinsville and Dranesville, and go as far as they can. If you can give 
me even one squadron of good cavalry, then I will ascertain state of case. 
I think our policy now is to make these works perfectly safe, and mobilize 
a couple of corps as soon as possible, but not to advance them until they 
can have their artillery and cavalry. I have sent for Colonel Tyler to 
place his artillery men in the works. Is Fort Harney securely held? 
Some of Cox s troops are also engaged with another force of enemy. 


August 27, 1862, 9 :50 p. M. 
Major-General McClellan: 

I propose to start at 4 o clock precisely, a wrecking and construc 
tion train bound for Bull Run; also a forage train and a subsistence 
train. It is perhaps proper that 200 good skirmishers should be sent 
with the trains, who should be at the depot at Alexandria before 4 A. M. 
to-morrow morning. General Pope will be notified by courier to-night 
to have his wagons at Sangster s Station by daylight to-morrow. If the 
troops are not here by 4 A. M., we propose to go ahead without them. 



BURKES, August 27, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

Engine Dover here waiting; cannot go to Fairfax; was fired into 
one and a half or two miles west of here by cavalry or band of guerrillas. 


August 27, 1862, 6 :50 p. M. 
Major-General McClellan: 

General Taylor is on his way to Alexandria, having been brought 
to Burkes on hand-car. I sent construction train forward with orders, 
if possible, to bring off wounded from Fairfax. The engine was fired 
upon two miles west of Burkes and compelled to return; firing by cav 
alry or guerrillas. Burkes Station abruptly closed this moment. Opera 
tor leaving indicates approach of the enemy. H. HAUPT. 

August 27, 1862. 
Colonel Stager: 

We are about to send out a railroad reconnoissance, with an opera 
tor and men to repair the line. Will you permit Conway, Bickford and 
Boyle to accompany it at their request? An immediate answer is de 
sired. H. HAUPT. 

August 27, 1862. 
Major-General Halleclc: 

General Taylor was sent to Burkes on hand-car, and is now on his 
way to Alexandria. I sent engine and cars of construction train with 
orders to proceed to Fairfax and bring off wounded if possible. The 
engine was fired into by cavalry two miles west of Burkes and com 
pelled to return without wounded. Operator at Burkes has this moment, 
6:50, broken off suddenly; probably compelled to evacuate. 


FAIRFAX, August 27, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

We have a number of wounded. General Taylor wishes you to 
send a train immediately. g. HUDSON, 

Assistant Surgeon llth 0. V. 7. 

August 27, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt : 

Is the railroad bridge over Bull Run destroyed ? 


August 27. 
J. J. Moore, Burkes: 

If you can reconstruct the bridge so as to pass over the train, reach 
Fairfax, and bring off the wounded before night, do so; if not, return 
immediately. Bull Run bridge is burned and the enemy had 20,000 
men in and about Manassas last night. At least one of the bridges be 
yond Fairfax is destroyed, perhaps others. It is not probable that we 
can use the road again for some time, and the army must cut its way 
through. H. HAUPT. 


FAIRFAX, August 27, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux : 

Jersey brigade reported to be cut up and surrounded; 200 or 300 
soldiers have left field and all coming down road. Rebel position on 
hill commanding Bull Run bridge. It is reported that rebel cavalry are 
trying to cut us off. I have returned here for orders to know if you 
think it advisable to go up to wreck and clear track. I have just arrived 
from Manassas, and cannot say how reliable these reports are. 


FAIRFAX STATION, August 27, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

Fairfax office opened for business ; news favorable ; holding position 
this side Bull Run bridge until reinforcements arrive. General Taylor 
and number of others are here wounded. Can we take engine and run 
to Bull Run for further information? Mr. Moore is still here and was 
about walking to Bull Run. McCRICKETT. 

August 27, 1862. 

To run an engine may attract too much attention if there is an 
enemy in the vicinity, but if you deem it safe, you might take an instru 
ment, go part way on an engine, make a connection at some point in the 
woods and communicate with me as soon as possible. 


August 27, 1862. 

If we send reinforcements, the wounded can return in same cars. 
We have asked instructions from General McClellan. 


ALEXANDRIA, August 27, 1862. 

The demands for transportation at the present time greatly exceed 
the capacity of the road and rolling stock, even with regularity of opera 
tion. Without regularity, the duty of the road cannot be performed, 
and the army cannot receive its regular supplies. 

The schedule, which has been interrupted by derangement of train 
movements, will be resumed to-day, and must be rigidly adhered to. No 
detention will be permitted from any cause. Agents will inform Medi 
cal Directors and others of the hours of starting of trains, and impress 
upon them the importance of having sick and wounded loaded in time; 
that, whether they are in the cars or not, the orders are peremptory to 
start trains at schedule time, and these orders must be obeyed under 
penalty of dismissal. j HAUPT 

Colonel and Chief of Construction and Transportation, 

Army of Virginia. 

Having received, as stated, no reply from General McClellan 
to the request to send a train guard for the proposed expedition to 
Bull Run, application was made to General Hancock, who re 
sponded promptly and promised that the required force should be 


ready at 4 A. M., at which time the train started. The train move 
ments were under the charge of an experienced conductor, C. M. 
Strein; the construction force under James J. Moore, assistant 
engineer; the military under Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, and 
accompanied by three telegraph operators who had volunteered for 
the same. The instructions were as follows : 

August 28, 1862. 
Conductor Strein : 

The expedition for railroad reconnoissance this morning, so far as 
concerns the advance or return of the train and rate of speed, will be 
under direction of the officer in command of skirmishers. I would rec 
ommend that the train proceed at the usual speed to a point near Burkes 
Station, being careful, however, not to run too fast, as the cars will be 
in advance of the engine. Beyond Burkes the train will proceed with 
great caution, the skirmishers advanced on both sides and particularly 
in the woods. The officer in charge, or some other detailed for that pur 
pose, to signal the conductor as to the movements of the train. Proceed 
in this way, if possible, as far as Bull Kun bridge; ascertain its condi 
tion, and also the position and condition of Colonel Scammon s force. 
If an enemy be found in superior numbers, retire and telegraph the fact. 
If no enemy be found when Bull Run is reached, and the bridge is safe, 
proceed at the discretion of the officer to Manassas and ascertain condi 
tion of property. Report every observation of importance by telegraph. 
An operator will be sent with the expedition, and also men to repair the 

line - H. HAUPT. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler will cooperate with the conductor in 
carrying out the within instructions. ^-^ -^ g^jTH 

Major-Geneml Commanding Division. 

The train proceeded without interruption as far as Burkes 
Station, thirteen miles from Alexandria, when a telegram was sent 
by Moore with the information that a bridge of twenty-four feet 
span across Pohick Creek, one mile west, was destroyed, and that 
there was no lumber to repair it. He was ordered to reconstruct 
the bridge, even if it should be necessary to tear down buildings to 
get material, and proceed, if possible, to Fairfax, sixteen miles, 
and bring off the wounded before night. 

By 10 A. M. the bridge had been rebuilt, and the wounded at 
Fairfax brought off safely. Important information was also ob 
tained and reports made to the President and to Generals McClel- 
lan and Halleck. This movement was made by men who knew that 
20,000 of the enemy were in front of them ! 

On the receipt of my dispatch, General McClellan sent a note 
stating that "he was very glad that I had sent out the reconnois 
sance." He had not given his approval to the movement, but he 
claimed to be glad that it had been successful. 

The history of the subsequent operations for the day will be 
found in the telegrams and reports hereto annexed : 


August 28, 1862. 
Major-General HallecJc: 

Having had no instructions since the telegram from you yesterday 
morning directing me to consult with General McClellan, and having had 
no word from General McClellan since my interview with him last night, I 
went this morning to the camp and made some suggestions to Generals 
Franklin and Hancock, which, having been approved, are now being car 
ried into effect. The following instructions [see page 106] to the con 
ductor will give you particulars. H. HAUPT. 

August 28, 1862, 1:15 A. M. 
General Halleck: 

I found General Hancock in his camp ; he will send 1,500 men, and 
1,500 of Cox s command will go forward immediately. I have recom 
mended that 500 men be left at Bull Run, and the balance go forward 
to Manassas and await orders. A wrecking and construction train will 
proceed at same time to clear track and repair damages. Should not 
orders be given to march forward forces to Manassas to-morrow ? 


BURKES, August 28, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Bridge across Pohick, one mile west, is destroyed. The clear span 
is 24 feet. We have no lumber here to repair it. 


August 28, 1862. 
Major-General HallecTc: 

The train sent out to reconnoiter found a bridge of 24 feet span 
destroyed one mile beyond Burkes Station. Operator sent with train 
made connection and telegraphed for instructions. I replied: "Recon 
struct the bridge, even if you must tear down buildings to get material, 
and proceed. If you can, reach Fairfax and bring off wounded before 
night." I have just received the announcement, "We are at Fairfax." 
This was done by our men with a knowledge of the fact that a force of 
20,000 rebels were probably in front of them. H. HAUPT. 

August 28, 1862. 
Haupt : 

Have you heard anything since I saw you last night ? 


August 28, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan: 

I have just sent a messenger to you with dispatches. We have no 
intelligence from the front, except through General Clough, that a com 
pany, Co. A, 16th Virginia, acting as guards on the road, has been cap 
tured. H. HAUPT. 

August 28, 1862. 
President Lincoln: 

I am much gratified to be able to inform you that Colonel Scammon 
is safe and has returned to Alexandria. I went out on an engine to meet 
him and bring him in. He held Bull Run bridge a long time against a 


very superior force, retired at last in perfect order, eluded the efforts of 
the enemy to surround him, and brought off his whole command with but 
little loss. I have advised General McClellan of his presence; he has 
important information to communicate. 

The rebel forces at Manassas were large and several of their best 
Generals were in command. I have sent out a reconnoitering party of 
200 sharpshooters by rail, with operators and wire to repair telegraph, 
make communication and report observations. H. HAUPT. 

August 28, 1862, 2 :40 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Yours received. How do you learn that the rebel forces at Manas 
sas are large, and commanded by several of their best Generals ? 


August 28, 1862. 
President Lincoln: 

One of Colonel Scammon s surgeons was captured and released; 
he communicated the information. One of our firemen was captured 
and escaped; he confirms it, and gives important details. General Mc- 
Clellan has just seen him; also Colonel Scammon. 


August 28, 1862. 
General McClellan: 

I have brought back Colonel Scammon ; am getting him something 
to eat. He can communicate important intelligence as to the number 
and position of the enemy. He is at my quarters near my office, where 
an interview will be quiet and undisturbed. He can see you in half an 
hour, or at your convenience. H. HAUPT. 

August 28, 1862. 
President Lincoln and General Hallec k: 

One of our men who is just in, left Bristoe yesterday noon, says 
our carpenters had nearly finished repairing Kettle Run bridge. A large 
number of cars with four engines were the other side of Kettle Run 
bridge ready to come over as soon as possible. One of the engines, the 
one in advance, had 12 cars of ammunition and more behind. 

After the completion of Kettle Run, the train can advance to Bris 
toe; they are probably there now. This intelligence is extremely grati 
fying. I learn, too, that Broad Run bridge has been attempted to be 
destroyed by cutting off the legs of all the trestles. The rebels could 
not have done mischief in a way that would render it more easy and 
expeditious for us to repair the damage. A very few hours should make 
Broad Run passable, and then Bull Run will remain the only obstacle. 


August 28, 1862. 

Enemy is advancing with 120,000 men, via Arlington and Chain 
Bridge, to attack Washington and Baltimore. General Barnard tele 
graphs me to-night that the length of line on fortifications this side 
Potomac requires 2,000 artillerymen and additional troops to defend 
intervals according to circumstances. At all events, he says an old regi 
ment should be added to the force at Chain Bridge, and few regiments 


distributed along the lines to give confidence to our new troops. I agree 
with him fully, and think our fortifications along the upper part of our 
line on this side of river unsafe with their present garrisons, and the 
movements of the enemy seem to indicate an attack upon those works. 


This dispatch was probably sent to General Halleck and a 
copy to me. It is quite characteristic of General McClellan. With 
70,000 of his own men from the Peninsula not in action, he was 
asking for reinforcements to put in the fortifications around Wash 
ington, and over-estimating the forces of the enemy. 

He knew, or should have known, that the only forces available 
for any purpose were his own. Most of them were lying in camp, 
apparently indisposed to aid Pope to gain a victory. 

August 28, 1862. 
J. J. Moore : 

You have done yourselves infinite credit. Bring the wounded and 
return immediately. How many wounded are there? Please answer. 


ALEXANDRIA, August 28, 1862, 11 A. M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

The result of our railway reconnoissance to-day was extremely 
gratifying. The Construction Corps reconstructed the bridge across Po- 
hick, the operators repaired telegraph lines, and wounded at Fairfax were 
all brought off safely. 

Important intelligence was obtained from a soldier who came on 
foot ^from Warrenton Junction. He confirms the statements of the 
burning of Bull Eun bridge, and of the other bridges between Warrenton 
Junction and Bull Kun. He says that Generals Siegel and Hooker 
occupy Manassas. 

From a chaplain captured and released on parole, our Superintend 
ent Devereux elicited the information that the enemy became alarmed 
last night at Manassas, and went off. He saw General Lee to-day at 
Fairfax about 1 o clock, who took the road towards Vienna with a large 
force, accompanied by artillery. I am now sending the chaplain to Gen 
eral McClellan ; also copy of report of conductor. 

I have arranged with General McClellan to send out to-morrow a 
strong reconnoissance by rail to Bull Kun, accompanied by artillery and 
cavalry, with a wrecking and construction party, to clear the way and 
open communication with Bull Run, into which, if our forces occupy 
Manassas, I will endeavor to pour supplies without delay; will recon 
struct Bull Eun bridge in the shortest time possible. 


ALEXANDRIA, August 28, 1862, 10:45 A. M. 
My Dear Colonel: 

Your note with enclosure is just received. I am very glad you 
have sent out the reconnoissance. I hope to collect sufficient cavalry and 
artillery to-day to send at least a portion of the forces to the front. As 


soon as I can communicate with my cavalry, I will send some Orderlies 
to your office. Will probably call there myself on way to camp. 
Very truly yours, 

Colonel Haupt, Chief of Construction, etc. 

August 28, 1862. 
General NcClellan: 

I just learn that Colonel Scammon has returned with his command, 
and is at this moment at General Franklin s Headquarters. I will go 
immediately on engine to see him and report. 

August 28, 1862, 4:40 p. M. 
President Lincoln: 

The latest news is that our men are busy reconstructing bridges 
beyond Bull Run. One of my assistants, just returning from Bristoe to 
Manassas, reports bridges across Kettle Run finished, a good force at 
work at Broad Run and another at Bull Run, one train of supplies sent 
out and unloaded, another of thirteen cars of bread and meat just starting. 
The track to Bull Run should be clear by this time, but I have no advices 
of the fact. Major Fifield has this moment arrived on return train, and 
gives it as his opinion, from the position of affairs when he left, that 
Jackson has by this time surrendered; this is doubtful, as we can still 


August 28, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan. 

SIR: I have just received through General Clough the following 
items of information : 

A private of Company C, 68th Illinois, employed on picket duty in 
guarding the telegraph line between Washington and Acquia Creek, came 
to Alexandria yesterday. Was returning last night to join his squad, 
about 16 miles from Alexandria on telegraph line; reached a point one 
mile from his squad. On the way he passed cavalry, citizens and contra 
bands fleeing towards Alexandria. Being unarmed and seeing a man 
near the road who had just been killed, he returned. The fugitives re 
ported that rebel cavalry in considerable force was behind. 

This is probably the Prince William Cavalry, of which a scout gave 
information last night. I have just ascertained that the telegraph is not 
cut yet. 

Colonel Close reports to General Clough this morning, on the au 
thority of three men who escaped, that Company A, 16th Virginia, sent 
on guard duty at some point on the railroad between this place and 
Manassas, were all captured some time last night. 


ALEXANDRIA, August 28, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux. 

DEAR SIR: In accordance with orders from Colonel Haupt, I pro 
ceeded west with engine Vulcan and a detachment of soldiers this A. M., 
finding the road in good order and unobstructed to Burkes. One mile 
west of Burkes the bridge across Pohick Run we found burned. The 
construction force on my train proceeded at once to repair this, and we 



proceeded to Fairfax. From here to Fairfax the road was in good order. 
The telegraph being cut about midway between Burkes and Fairfax, the 
repairer on my train put this in order. At Fairfax I proceeded and 
placed on my train the wounded of yesterday s engagement. I have 
brought them to Alexandria. A soldier came to Fairfax, who reports 
that he left Warrenton Junction this morning and came on foot to Fair 
fax; that the bridges over Broad Run, between Bristoe and Manassas,. 
and over Bull Run were burned, and the engines and cars at Bristoe 
were burned and destroyed, and that the cars at the scene of the col 
lision of night before last were burned. The engines Maryland and 
Waterford are still uninjured. He states also that Generals Hooker and 
Siegel occupy Manassas. This soldier, whose name and company, from 
a press of business, I could not learn, was taken charge of, I think, by the 
Colonel commanding the force on my train. 

Respectfully, C. M. STREIN, 


P. S. The soldier referred to reports heavy firing during the time 
he was in hearing, in the direction of Gainesville, west from Manassas. 

C. M. S. 

Edwin M. Markham, brakeman Orange & Alexandria Rail 
road, states : 

Left Warrenton on Engine 136, with empty train, on Tuesday, 
August 26, about 5 o clock. On reaching Catlett s, met engine McCal- 
lurn, which had backed up from Bristoe with the report that the trains 
ahead of her had been thrown off track, and fired into by the rebels. 
Stayed at Catlett s all night, and next morning, August 27, went back to 

But on Tuesday night Engine 136 added to her train the empty cars 
of the McCallum, and went to Warrenton, taking a regiment of Kear 
ney s Division, with which it proceeded nearly to Bristoe, or to Kettle 
Run bridge. The said regiment did not disembark at all, but after 
challenging the rebels, and getting for answer : "By G d, come on, and 
we ll show you who we are," the said regiment returned to Catlett s, get 
ting there about daylight. 

From Warrenton, on morning of August 27, after getting trains 
ready, came down on train of McCallum, and got to Catlett s about 
noon; walked down track and saw fighting. Saw Hooker s battery get 
into position and causing the rebel battery, opposing, to skedaddle from 
two positions, and finally to take off towards Thoroughfare Gap. 

P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War, sent me an armor- 
clad, bullet-proof car mounting a cannon. The kindness was ap 
preciated, but the present was an elephant. I could not use it and, 
being in the way, it was finally side-tracked on an old siding in 
Alexandria. The bullet-proof cabs on locomotives were very use 
ful ; in fact, indispensable. I had a number of them made and put 
on engines, and they afforded protection to engineers and firemen 
against the fire from guerrillas from the bushes that lined the 

General McClellan sent word to General Pope that he would 



have all the available wagons and cars loaded with rations for his 
troops when he (Pope) should send a cavalry escort as guard to the 
trains. General Pope had not five horses to a company able to 
trot, and could not understand of what use cavalry could be to rail 
road trains. 

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862, 12 :15 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt : 

An armor-clad car, bullet proof, and mounting a cannon, has ar 
rived here, and will be sent down to Alexandria. 

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862, 12 :15 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

After you see the bullet-proof car, let me know what you think of 
it. I think you ought at once to have a locomotive protected by armor. 
Can you have the work done expeditiously and well at Alexandria, or 
shall I get it done at Philadelphia or Wilmington ? 

Assistant Secretary of War. 

August 29, 1862. 

General McClellan has received an order from General Halleck to 
have construction trains sent out at once to repair the railroad to 

General Tyler has been ordered to furnish you such guards as you 
may think necessary. Please see General Tyler and arrange with him, 
so as to start off the construction parties as soon as possible. General 
Pope s troops are at Centreville, and he says that the enemy has for the 
most part retreated, so that I do not think that you will meet with much, 
if any, opposition. 

Please have your trains with supplies for General Pope ready to 
push out as soon as the road is clear. 

Very respectfully, E. B. MARCY, 

Chief of Staff. 
Colonel Haupt, Railroad Superintendent. 

August 29, 1862, 3 :40 p. M. 
Major-General McClellan: 

I think that about 200 men should ride in and out on top of the 
cars, and that 200 more should protect the depot where we unload ammu 
nition and supplies. This is in addition to the 200 sent out by General 
Tyler this morning to act as scouts and protect construction parties. 
We will be sending out trains constantly during the day and night. 
Where are the men, and where can they be loaded? General Tyler has 
just come into the office and says he can give us all the men we want, 
except the sharpshooters. -o- 


August 29, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt : 

What news from direction of Manassas Junction? What gener- 



August 29, 1862. 
President Lincoln and General Halleck: 

General Pope was at Centreville this morning at 6 o clock ; seemed 
to be in good spirits; Hooker driving the enemy before him, McDowell 
and Siegel cutting off his retreat; army out of forage and subsistence; 
force of enemy 60,000. This is the substance of information communi 
cated by two ambulance drivers who came from Centreville, and who 
also gave many particulars confirming previous statements. I have or 
dered a. train of forage and another of subsistence to be got ready to 
start before daylight, and will notify General Pope to-night by courier 
that he can have wagons to receive it at Sangster s Station by daylight 
to-morrow morning. 

The ambulance driver mentioned made the following state 
ment : 

August 29, 7 P. M. 

Robert I. Johnson, ambulance driver, went a week ago, August 22, 
with 75 ambulances to Pope s Headquarters, delivered them to Colonel 
Cleary Tuesday, and stopped at Warrenton Junction Tuesday night, the 
night of the raid on Catlett s. On Wednesday night came on foot to 
where the battle was near Bristoe. Forces engaged, Sickles and Hooker ; 
about 30 men killed, rebels about the same; don t know how many 
wounded. Thursday morning went on battlefield and stayed at Bristoe 
until 1 P. M. Came on to Bull Run at the bridge on the road between 
Manassas and Centreville ; heard firing in direction of Gainesville. Judge 
from the shells and ammunition that the guns of the rebels were not 
heavy. Heard firing in direction of Centreville from 5 p. M. to dark. 
Saw General Pope at Bristoe, and he came down railroad towards 

Came to Centreville at 6 A. M.; saw General Pope at Centreville. 
Fighting towards the mountains ; had fifty prisoners. Hooker was in 
rear of rebels; appeared to be driving them, and heard from some of 
Pope s aides-de-camp that Siegel and McDowell were heading them off. 
Saw some of the wounded, who said they came in by Manassas Gap ; they 
said the force might be fifty or sixty thousand, commanded by Jackson, 
Longstreet, Ewell and A. P. Hill. 

We came through Fairfax C. H. to-day. We saw a lady who said 
Generals Lee and Stuart were at her nouse yesterday; they had 500 cav 
alry; they came close to the 14th Massachusetts, but were not seen by 
them, a small hill screening them. When we got to Fairfax C. H., about 
10 or 12, we still heard firing in direction of Centreville and beyond. 
Met Smith s Division seven or eight miles from Alexandria. 


O!N"E of the prominent incidents of this day s operations was an 
invitation by the Secretary of War to clerks in the depart 
ment, citizens of Washington and citizens of Baltimore to volun 
teer as nurses to assist in caring for the wounded on the battlefield. 

It was an impulsive and kind-hearted but ill-advised act. At 
a time when passes were refused to every applicant, when com 
munication with the enemy was rigorously guarded, the gates were 
opened and trains required for military supplies and reinforce 
ments were ordered to Washington to bring forward a promiscuous- 
rabble, and scatter them broadcast over the country. 

Upon receiving orders through Assistant Secretary Watson to 
send trains to Washington for this purpose, I protested against it,, 
and begged him to use his influence to have the invitations recalled. 
This could not be done ; they had gone out and the Secretary felt 
that he could not rescind the order, even though it might be a mis 

I sent on a train, and when it reached Alexandria it was 
packed full, inside and on top. Some women even had forced 
themselves into the cars, which were ordinary freight cars without 
seats. It was night. Superintendent Devereux came to me, after 
inspecting the train, and begged to have it side-tracked; that it 
would not do to send it forward ; that half the men were drunk and 
nearly every one had a couple of bottles of whisky. 

I replied that we were not responsible for results; we must 
obey orders, which were peremptory, but I would delay the train 
as long as possible, and he should send a conductor to announce ta 
its passengers that the enemy was near Fairfax, where they were to 
be unloaded, and that a proper regard for their safety required 
that a train with troops should be sent in advance. This quieted 
them and they were very patient. 

When sent forward, I telegraphed the officer in command at 
Fairfax to arrest all who were drunk and put a guard over them. 
Those who were sober enough straggled off as soon as it was light 
enough to see and wandered around until whisky and provisions 
became exhausted, when they returned to the station to get trans 
portation back. In this, most of them were disappointed. The 



orders had been to take them out, but none to bring them back, and 
although it seemed cruel to compel them to walk, cold, hungry and 
wet with rain, it would have been far more cruel to let the wounded 
lie on the ground to perish in order to furnish transportation to 
those whose necessities were not so great. 

Xo doubt some were induced to volunteer from proper mo 
tives, but generally it was a hard crowd, and of no use whatever on 
the field. In fact, I was told that in some instances parties who 
had money bribed ambulance drivers to take them back to the sta 
tion, thus compelling the wounded to lie longer upon the field. 
Telegrams came in from officers, "don t send out any more civil 

August 30, 1862. 
Colonel II. Haupt: 

J. W. Garret, President Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, 
came in this moment, by direction of the Secretary of War, for the pur 
pose of having arrangements made for the prompt transportation by rail, 
from Washington to Bull Run, of surgeons and volunteers who go to 
care for the wounded of General Pope s army. 

P. S. A notice is posted by the Secretary of War in the hotels, 
calling on all able-bodied men to volunteer as nurses, and go out to the 
battlefield, saying that transportation will be furnished to them. You 
may have a large number to go, and the arrangements you make I will 

have posted on the hotel bulletins. _. ~ ..-. _, ATTTT ^ r 


August 30, 1862. 
P. H, Watson: 

Surgeons must be accommodated by all means, but I would ask 
whether the several hundred volunteers who propose to go are needed, 
and whether they will not be in the way, and possibly help to produce a 
stampede. I fear if we send a train it will be filled with a rush, and 
possibly the surgeons excluded. 

Our trains sent out this morning at daylight have not yet returned ; 
until they do, we are in the dark, as we have no operators at intermediate 
points. An operator will go in next train. Washington track is encum 
bered with Richardson s baggage and must be cleared before we can send 
train to Washington; in the meantime, while getting ready the trains, 
you can give your opinion whether it would not be best to send the doc 
tors to Alexandria for shipment, and leave all the rest at home. 


August 30, 1862. 
P. H. Watson: 

We obey orders and will send train to Washington as soon as track 
is clear, but there should be some way of keeping back those who are 
impelled by mere curiosity, and sending only those who will be useful. 
I think time would be saved by sending to Alexandria. The hour of 
sending trains from this place will depend on the time of return trains, 
which is uncertain. We will be running out and in all night. I sup 
pose the wounded will soon be pouring in, and the removal of them must 



be carefully managed, so as not to interfere with supplies. It seems to 
me that if the battle is over, we have men enough to act as nurses ; if it 
is not over, we do not want any citizens to skedaddle and create a panic. 


August 30, 1862, 10 p. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

A train of 16 cars, containing about 800 persons, has arrived. I 
do not wish them to go ahead of the ammunition train, as they will be 
very much in the way, so I have told them that a proper regard for their 
safety, and a desire to protect them against attack, induces me to delay 
them, to send an ammunition train with troops, and to place guards on 
top of each of their cars. They are very patient with this information. 
I hope to forward General Couch s regiment without special train, by 
placing the men on top of the cars. Abundance of commissary stores 
have been sent forward 18 carloads commissary and 36 of forage. 


August 30, 1862, 11 :15 p. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

A large portion of the nurses who came on last night were drunk 
and very disorderly. I sent them off with written directions to the 
officer in command at Fairfax, to arrest every one who was drunk and 
return him by the next train. I understand that a large number are on 
their way back. They are much in the way. Can you not place a guard 
on Long Bridge? We are now using care to bring back nurses who are 
satisfied with the experience of one night and are skedaddling back again. 


August 30, 1862, 9 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

What news ? A. LINCOLN. 

August 30, 1862. 
President Lincoln: 

Firing this morning is heard in direction of Centreville. I have 
sent out four trains. The first left at 4:30 A. M., the others following 
immediately a wrecking train to clear track, a construction train to 
repair bridges, a train of forage and one of bread and meat. 

A courier returning to General Pope last night was to convey the 
information that the trains would be at Sangster s Station soon after 
daylight with supplies. This point is four miles only from Centreville. 
I have directed that when a party arrives at Bull Run, a detachment 
shall be sent forward on foot with such tools as they can carry to reach 
the engines and cars now cut off from communication at Catlett s, with 
instructions to work towards Bull Run, repair bridges, and telegraph 
call upon General Banks or any other officer for assistance and protec 
tion, and work along opening communications with Bull Run. When 
this is done, we can forward supplies by carrying them across Bull Run 
and reshipping. 

I have also sent wire, operator and instrument with the expedition, 
and a force of 200 riflemen, with directions to keep with the working 
party in the advance, send out scouts and report everything. 


The intelligence last evening was that Hooker and Pope were push 
ing the enemy towards the Gaps in the mountains through which they 
had advanced, and that McDowell and Siegel were heading them off. 
This morning the direction of the firing seemed to be changing, and it 
is not impossible that the enemy s forces may be changing direction and 
trying to escape towards Fredericksburg. In this case my trains will be 
in great danger. I await intelligence with some anxiety, and will com 
municate anything of importance that I hear. 

H. HAUir-L. 

August 30, 1862, 8 :50 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Please send me the latest news. A. LINCOLN. 

August 30, 1862. 
A. Lincoln, President: 

Our operator has reached Manassas ; hears no firing of importance. 
I have directed part of the 200 riflemen to go out as scouts, make obser 
vations and report constantly. Two or three flashes just seen from 
Manassas in direction of Centreville. 

Our expedition this morning appears to have been completely suc 
cessful. We have re-established telegraphic communications with 
Manassas, will soon have cars running, but the military authorities here 
tofore have never extended to us the protection that was necessary, and 
we have assumed the responsibility of going ahead without it. 

Our telegraph operators and railway employes are entitled to great 
credit. They have been advanced pioneers, occupying the posts of dan 
ger, and the exploit of penetrating to Fairfax and bringing off the 
wounded when they supposed that 20,000 rebels were on their front and 
flanks, was one of the boldest performances I have ever heard of. 


August 30, 1862. 
President Lincoln: 

We escaped any injury to the track and bridges last night. We 
sent forward trains until 2 A. M. They all reached their destination, 
which affords, I think, an ample present supply of subsistence and ammu 
nition. We sent 88 cars. The trains were all guarded, the tops filled 
with riflemen and strong guards at all the bridges. We asked Manassas 
a short time ago if firing was heard; he said no. Fairfax just answers 
no firing heard. I sent out one of General Couch s regiments about 12 
last night ; the other reported for duty after 2 A. M. It was of no use to 

send it at that hour, and no train was ready. -rmm 


August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt : 

There has been heavy and rapid firing in the direction of Fairfax 
for some time. I have sent out to ascertain what it is. I thought per 
haps you might learn something by telegraphing to the front. 




August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Do you know what that firing is ? 


Major- General. 

MANASSAS, August 30, 1862. 
General McClellan: 

There was a camp rumor as I came in from Bristoe that Jackson 
had moved towards Alexandria. Colonel J. C. Clarke, one of my aides, 
who has been out to the front, reports that Jackson has fallen back about 
five (5) miles towards the mountains. He judges mainly by the sounds 
of the guns. There has been an entire change of position, I judge. A 
scout reports at ten (10) A. M. that Jackson was at Gainesville with about 
30,000. He said that he saw and knew him. My corps is moving up 
from Bristoe; no enemy near. 


August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Stager: 

Please order Flagg, Graham, and Waterhouse to return and reopen 
Burkes and Fairfax Stations, and ask General Halleck to direct that a 
company of riflemen and a few cavalry be sent to each station for infor 
mation and protection. When we are sending supplies to Sangster s 
Station, I consider it very important that we should have a temporary 
connection and operator at that point. Please send some one for that 


August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Have telegraphed Flagg to go immediately to Fairfax Station. 
Our advices are that fighting is still going on. The firing has been 

rapid and heavy during the last two hours. nr^-o 

A. olACr-Llv. 

August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

I have directed operators to resume their places at Burkes and 
Fairfax. Will have temporary office at Sangster s, as you request. 

Pope fought enejny all day yesterday and drove them in every in 
stance, and has more prisoners than he can count. He was to resume 
the fight this morning. Pope s loss heavy, 8,000; enemy much larger. 
This comes by courier from General Pope. General Halleck directed 
me to give you all information I can, which I shall cheerfully do. 


August 30, 1862, 5:48 p. M. 
McCricfcett and Major Haller: 

You are in much less danger of any attack than you were last 
night. The guards are strengthened by Carroll s brigade, and General 
Tyler will have skirmishers out in every direction. We must send sup- 


plies as long and as fast as there are wagons to take them away. If you 
have any information from any source that is really reliable, it may 
change our plans. What do you know ? We cannot act on surmises. 


MANASSAS, August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

I left force to work at Bull Run, and walked to Bristoe Station. 
Churchill and the force of contrabands finished Kettle Run bridge last 
night, and will be working at Broad Run this afternoon. The track 
stringers are destroyed and most of the posts cut off. Will do the best 
to repair it until we get lumber. They attempted to burn Conner s Run, 
but did little injury. Can be repaired soon. I return to Bull Run 
bridge this evening. I can hear nothing of the Construction Corps. 


August 30, 1862, 12 :25 p. M. 
General HallecJe: 

The chief danger to our trains and construction forces arises from 
the cavalry companies of Prince William. I would be pleased if you 
could order some cavalry immediately to patrol the country east of the 
railroad towards the Occoquan ; also to have a force of not less than 200 
sharpshooters to ride on top of the cars and assist in unloading the 
trains. H. HAUPT. 

August 30, 1862, 3 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

I have just received the following from General Halleck: "Send 
some sharpshooters and trains to Bull Run; the bridges and property 
are threatened by band of Prince William Cavalry. Give Colonel Haupt 
all the assistance you can ; the sharpshooters on top of the cars can assist 
in unloading trains." 

What trains are you to send, and how many men do you want to 
carry out General Halleck s order? I have 300 good men, including 
about fifty sharpshooters, armed with Sharp s rifles. At what time do 
you want these men? If you require any more, they will have to be 
taken from raw troops armed at once. Q. B. McCLELLAN, 


August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

The General-in-Chief considers the protection of the railroad to 
night as one of the most importance. General McClellan, therefore, de 
sires that you will throw forward to the exposed front General Couch s 
Division, just arrived at Alexandria, as rapidly as the capability of the 
road will permit. General Couch has been instructed to confer with 
you. S. WILLIAMS, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

August 30, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Major-General Couch has been ordered, by direction of the Gen 
eral-in-Chief, to send the regiment of his command, which is now dis- 


embarking, at once to Sangster s and other exposed stations by rail. 
General Couch is ordered to confer with you as to the points to be 
guarded and the strength of the guard. 

General Halleck fears that the marauders may attempt the destruc 
tion of the road to-night. No time, therefore, is to be lost. Please 

By command Major-General McClellan. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

August 30, 1862, 5:15 p. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

Please direct General Clough, Military Governor of Alexandria, 
to arrest and hold for examination until exigencies of the service will 
permit it, William Hook, a workman in machine shop, believed, from 
recent developments, to be a rebel, and charged with secreting parts of 

engines to render them unfit for service. -rr-om 

H. JdLAUJ: 1. 

August 30, 1862, 11 :45 A. M. 
P. H. Watson: 

I have just had a conversation with M. P. Wood, Master Machin 
ist, who has had charge of the machine shop in Fredericksburg. He 
says that after having used the forges two days, it was discovered that a 
loaded shell had been placed in each. I think the proprietor, John Scott, 
now under arrest, should not be released. His is an aggravated case. 


August 30, 1862. 
General Salleck: 

From the conductor of the wrecking and construction trains, I 
learn that the wreck at Bull Run is nearly cleared. The bridges will be 
commenced to-morrow and probably finished next day. I have just sta 
tioned 200 men at the bridges as a protection. The track is clear to Bull 


August 31, 1862, 7 :10 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

What news? Did you hear any firing this morning? 


August 31, 1862. 
President Lincoln: 

No news received as yet this morning; firing heard distinctly in 

direction of Bristoe at 6 o clock. TTT>T< 

ad.. JzLAUJL -L. 

August 31, 1862. 

Please send telegraph operator to Bull Run to make connection 
and report all that he learns ; let him go on first train. 



August 31, 1862. 
Generals Halleck and McClellan: 

I am just informed that Manassas is being evacuated again by our 
men, and that Banks forces are moving towards Centreville. I know 
very little of what is going on, but this movement would seem to indi 
cate large reinforcements of the enemy from the direction of the Rap- 
pahannock, particularly as our own cars and engines at and near Bristoe 
were destroyed by our own men this morning. 

As our forces occupy Centreville, Fairfax, Vienna and, in fact, the 
whole line north of the railroad, there should be but little difficulty in 
our retaining possession of the triangle formed by the line of railroads 
from Bull Run to Alexandria, the streams of Bull Run and Occoquan 
and the Potomac. If the bridges and fords on the Occoquan and Bull 
Run are guarded and cavalry scouts patrolling this triangle, no enemy 
could approach the line of road. A stronger force is required at Bull 

Our men are at work and expect to have Bull Run bridge passable 
to-morrow morning. Without artillery we cannot defend the bridge 
against artillery. If the crossings of the Occoquan are guarded, Bull 
Run bridge is our most exposed point. 

Please give a thought to these suggestions. 


August 31, 1862. 
Major-General HallecTc: 

Your telegram in regard to orders of General Couch has been re 
ceived. As soon as the officer reports I will make the arrangement. We 
have already stationed 200 men at Bull Run, 150 at Fairfax, and 150 
more will be sent by next train. 200 travel with trains as guards. The 
regiments of General Couch will be placed at bridges along the road be 
tween Alexandria and Fairfax, beyond which points trains will not run 
to-night. To-morrow there should be a better organization of guards 
than now exists. The attacks are usually made before midnight, and 

guards to be of use should be already posted. -rr-om 

Jd. MAUirl. 

August 31, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan: 

We have been waiting perhaps an hour and a half for General 
Couch s regiment, and they have not been heard from. They are 
assigned to duty as follows : 

3 companies to strengthen guards at Fairfax. 
3 at Accotink bridge. 

1 at bridge at Springfield. 

2 seven miles from Alexandria. 
1 at bridge near Burkes. 

It is now so late that these guards will be of little use for to-night, 
and if they do not report soon, I must send off trains now waiting with 
out them. The ammunition must go forward immediately. We have 
200 men at Bull Run, and I consider it inexpedient to send any 
more beyond Fairfax to-night. At this point all supplies will be un- 

loaded - H. HAUPT. 


August 31, 1862, 10:30. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Was ordered out of my car this morning with the word that OUT 
cars and engine were to be burned, and before I had picked up my traps 
the trains were on fire. Am now trying to come to Alexandria. 


August 31, 1862. 
President Lincoln and Generals Halleck and McClellan: 

One of our train dispatchers reports from Manassas that he was 
ordered out of his car at Bristoe this morning by our troops with the 
information that they were ordered to destroy the cars and engines, and 
they have been burned. I suppose that this was done by command of 


August 31, 1862, 11 A. M. 

General Tyler, care Colonel Haupt : 

The Commanding General directs that you furnish such guards for 
railroad and trains as Colonel Haupt may call for. 


Chief of Staff. 

August 31, 1862, 11 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Should you require any more troops to guard railroad or trains, 
please call upon General Tyler for them. He will be directed to furnish 
them. Can you send out any troops to Fairfax Station to-day and not 
interfere with the transit of subsistence ? If so, how many ? 


Chief of Staff. 

August 31, 1862. 
General G. B. McClellan: 

I have arranged with General Tyler for guards to roads and sta 
tions. He will strengthen the force at Bull Run bridge, and add a sec 
tion of artillery. We still need about 500 cavalry between the railroad 
and the Occoquan. The troops asked transportation for, have not yet 

been sent. A regiment has just reported. _ _. ^.^^ 

M. H A LI Jr I . 

August 31, 1862. 
General R. B. Marcy: 

I do not think that any additional force to guard the roads will be 
required. We have enough to protect against small parties, and we 
cannot be furnished enough to defend the road against an army. Cavalry 
scouts would be very useful if we could get them. 

As to troops, our means of transportation depend entirely on the 
rapidity with which cars are unloaded and returned. We can probably 
send out 5,000 men in five hours. 

We are annoyed by a drunken rabble who came out as nurses, by 
permission of the War Department. I telegraphed that if the battle 
was over, the companions of the wounded could attend to them. If it 


was not over, the presence of citizens was highly objectionable. I have 
requested that guards be placed at end of Long Bridge to keep any but 
physicians from coming over. _ HATTPT 

August 31, 1862. 
Colonel H. Haupt: 

Confusion worse confounded. Here are hundreds of men who want 
to go to the battlefield. No passes being required, all claim the right. 
We have in the train five passenger cars and two freight cars full. I 
fear there are more persons going to satisfy a morbid curiosity than for 
any other purpose. p Q McCALLIJM 

August 31, 1862. 
D. C. McCallum: 

Can you not get an order from the Secretary of War to prevent 
any more people from coming over ? Near a thousand came last night, 
half of them drunk. We do not want any more of them. I said to 
Watson that if the battle was over, the companions of the wounded 
could attend to them. If it was not over, the presence of such a crowd 
might create a panic and do immense harm; in either case they were 
worse than useless. Have guards placed to keep them away, if possible. 


FAIRFAX, August 31, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Send no more citizens. G. O. HALLER, 

Major Seventh Infantry, Commanding. 

FAIRFAX, August 31, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Recent news induces me to ask whether it would not be better to 
send all our wounded rapidly to Alexandria, and not ship here supplies 
until further notice. I can send the unfortunate far more rapidly and 
there may be yet a better reason for not sending citizens. They have 
overwhelmed us, and they retard, instead of, as they intended, assist- 

ingus - G.O. HALLER, 

Major Seventh Infantry. 

August 31, 1862,12:55. 
Colonel Haupt : 

I placed your telegrams in the hands of the Secretary and General 
Halleck for answer early this morning. I gave an order to the Military 
Governor, General Wadsworth, to place guards at the bridges and 
wharves, and stop and turn back all nurses who might attempt to cross; 
also to stop and turn back all other civilians who have no proper passes. 
Let the drunken and other nurses in Alexandria be sent back by cars or 
steamers as may suit or be most convenient. 

Assistant Secretary of War. 


FAIRFAX, August 31, 1862. 
Colonel Haupt and J. H. Devereux: 

A slight misunderstanding existed for a short time between Major 
Haller and myself. He was going to take military control of every 
thing here. Told him he must make an exception of railroad. We now 
understand each other and it is settled all right. 

Told him we were here to do all in our power to advance the busi 
ness of the Government, and that I will do anything that does not con 
flict with your orders. There has been awful confusion here this morn 
ing; unloading was progressing very slowly. Major has set to work 
and will have cars unloaded promptly. He has ordered all citizens back 
to Alexandria who refuse to go to Bull Run with train. They are in 
Devereux s train; eight or ten wounded are in same train; 277 wagons 
of wounded are just in. They are now being loaded. 

This misunderstanding took place before Major received your mes- 


August 31, 1862, 6 p. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

I have directed General Clough to arrest Hook, as you requested. 
You or General Clough are both authorized to arrest and send to the Old 
Capitol Prison, in Washington, any person whom you may deem danger 
ous to remain at large. You will report any such arrest, and the cause 
thereof, to this Department. 

Assistant Secretary of War. 

August 31, 1862, 11 :05 p. M! 
Major-General HallecTc: 

A young man has just returned from the battlefield who gives in 
formation of the position of affairs which, it seems to me, may influence 
your movements. I feel it to be my duty to send him to you, and am 
getting an engine ready for that purpose. I will send him to the War 
Office. Please direct the door-keeper to admit him, or direct where he 

can see you. He will be on hand before 1 A. M. TT-nrr. 

JtL. xlAUir -L. 


THE oncoming disaster to Pope and his army, which General 
McClellan was doing nothing to avert, was already discernible, 
though the authorities at Washington were not yet without hope. 

Major-General McClellan: _ About September 1, 1862. 

Have you ordered Major Haller s command to be withdrawn from 
Fairfax ? If you have, do you wish them to be transported on cars this 
afternoon, or can they remain until to-morrow? I would prefer, if you 
can spare them, that no part of the force at Fairfax be removed while- 
the depot continues at that point. jj JJAUPT 

Colonel Haupt : September 1, 1862. 

I have reason to believe, from reports received, that the enemy 
were to-night in possession of Fairfax Court House, and I very much 
fear that they will try to take possession of Fairfax Station. Please 
look at the instructions I have just sent over the wire to Major Haller r 
commanding at Fairfax Station. I think all the supplies that can be 
withdrawn from there should be withdrawn at once. Provide, if possible, 
the means for the retirement of Major Haller s command by rail ; at least,, 
to facilitate it. GEO> B McCLELLAN, 


Major Hatter, Fairfax: September 1, 1862, 12 :30 A. M. 

It is reported that a large force of cavalry and three light bat 
teries of the enemy were this afternoon near Fairfax Court House. They 
may visit you to-night. Be ready for them. Infantry ought to handle 
cavalry anywhere in such a country as this. Be careful to secure your 
retreat, and in God s name do not be captured. Keep me constantly 
posted. If you find your communication with Fairfax Court House 
irretrievably cut off, destroy the stores and make good your retreat to 
Alexandria. Communicate the same orders to the detachment near you 
and personally in your front. If possible, fall back by the railroad, 
retreating only step by step, as you are forced to do so. Don t allow a 
mere cavalry raid to drive you off. Give ground only when you are- 
absolutely forced to do so. Communicate by telegraph with Colonel 
Haupt, Superintendent Railroads. 

By order General McClellan. A. V. COLBURN, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

n 7 T T, September 1, 1862. 

Colonel Colburn: 

Will you please continue to send out scouts at short intervals and 
report observations? jj HAUPT. 



September 1, 1862. 

We are informed that an attack may be made upon you to-night by 
cavalry. Send down immediately any cars that are at the station as 
fast as they can be loaded with wounded. We cannot send back any 
more cars and engines, because it would attract too much attention. 
Major Haller s command can retire much more safely on foot than they 
can in cars. 

Send some one on foot to Bull Run to warn our railroad men and 
guards to retire if you are compelled to retire from Fairfax. Burn any 
stores, and particularly any ammunition that you may find it necessary 
to leave. 

Do not communicate this intelligence to any of the nurses, or a 
rush will be made and a panic created. Get the wounded off first. 

Keep cool and trust your legs and the bushes for escape. 


FAIRFAX, September 1, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

All right; I feel perfectly cool and wet; have been fording streams 
and wading ditches since 4 A. M. McC 

FAIRFAX, September 1, 1862, 4 :30 A. M. 
Colonel Haupt: 

Then I may expect no engine to haul away the 13 cars still loaded 
with forage. It will be almost impossible to send messenger to Bull Run 
to-night. Will it answer about daylight? McCRICKETT 

September 1, 1862. 

Take care of your wounded in preference to forage ; destroy all that 
you cannot bring away. You cannot now stop to reload forage ; you may 
risk the capture of the party; the forage is not worth it. 


September 1, 1862, 2:30 A. M. 
Major-General McClellan: 

If the enemy are at Fairfax Court House it will not answer to send 
any more engines from Alexandria to Fairfax Station. The noise made 
in going out would attract so much attention that they would be sure 
to be captured in coming in. I think it imprudent also to put the 
command of Major Haller in the cars, where they would be defenseless. 
I have therefore directed that empty cars shall be loaded with wounded 
and returned; that stores and ammunition, if any remain, shall be 
burned in case of attack, and that men who have legs shall depend on 

them and the bushes for escape. _ ^ . T^,- 

Jd. MAUJrl. 

September 1, 1862, 2 :40 A. M. 
Generals Tyler and dough : 

I am advised by telegram from General McClellan that Fairfax 
Court House is probably in possession of the enemy. I have ordered 
the cars and engines with wounded to be withdrawn from Fairfax 


Station and no more trains to be sent out. In case of attack by cavalry, 
which is expected, destroy the stores and retire. It is not impossible 
that a dash may be made in the direction of Alexandria, and you should 
be advised of the position of affairs. 

Major Haller, in command at Fairfax Station, marched his 
command towards Alexandria, thus withdrawing all protection. 
McCrickett remained until after 5 p. M., having succeeded in send 
ing to Alexandria all the wounded and all the stores, except a few 
loads of forage, and then, in obedience to instructions, set fire to 
the building, and made his escape as the enemy was approaching, 
his last telegram being : "Have fired it. Good by." 

FAIRFAX, September 2, 1862, 1 :05 p. M. 
General McClellan 

Major Haller s command just marching towards Alexandria. 


September 2, 1862. 
S. Williams, A. A. G.: 

We have ordered all cars forward immediately from Fairfax Sta- f 
tion. Major Haller s command started some time ago. Your informa 
tion comes too late to send additional cars from Alexandria to Fairfax. 
We are just advised that the last of our army has passed, and the depot 
is already in the rear. I have directed that, in case this information is 
correct, to start with all the cars at Fairfax, put in the wounded as rap 
idly as possible, and return to Alexandria. To send trains now from 
here to Fairfax would be certain capture. - 

September 2, 1862. 

If the last of our army has already passed, and you are now in the 
rear, it would be folly to send more cars and engines with a certainty of 
destruction. If the position of affairs be as you represent it, all you have 
to do is to load the cars you have, pile in the wounded on top, inside, 
anywhere, as you best can, destroy any stores you cannot load, and come 
on to Burkes and Alexandria. jj JJAUPT 

September 2, 1862. 
Colonel Colburn, Fairfax: 

I do not know from whom you should receive instructions, but it 
will certainly be proper for you immediately to withdraw your command. 
If our troops have all passed, your position will be much exposed. If I 
can reach you with cars, I will do so. Leave no supplies, destroy what 
you cannot bring; let the road guards fall in and retire with you as you 
meet them. H HAUPT. 

September 2, 1862. 

What property is left at station destroy it and retire immediately. 
It is too late to send up a train. H. HAUPT. 


September 2, 1862. 

After destroying Fairfax, come on foot to Burkes, and in the train 
there come to Alexandria. - 

FAIRFAX, September 2, 1862. 
J. H. Devereux: 

Have fired it. Good-by. McC.* 

The record of the campaign of the Army of Virginia, so far 
as the operations of the Military Railroad Department are con 
cerned, ends with the evacuation of Fairfax September 2, 1862 ; 
and on the same day the Army of Virginia was merged into the 
Army of the Potomac, under General McClellan. 

From June 26, 1862, to August 9, when the battle of Cedar 
Mountain was fought, I was not an active participant in military 
operations. The experiment of a hydra-headed management of 
the railroads had been tried and failed. I was recalled from Cam 
bridge with the information that not a wheel was moving on any of 
the roads, and was reinstated with the official distinction from the 
General-in-Chief that my authority was to be supreme. 

The brief intervening period until September 2, was one of 
intense activity and anxiety. The operations of the railroad were 
subject to constant interruption from guerrilla bands, some of them 
mounted ; bridges were destroyed, rails removed, track obstructed, 
every possible impediment placed in the way of successful opera 

The flank movement of Lee placed him in a very critical posi 
tion, and I have always been of the opinion that if Pope had been 
properly supported by McClellan s Army of the Potomac, Lee 
would have been crushed between the upper and nether millstones. 

It would not have required a very large portion of the force 
to defend the fortifications around Washington, and Lee would 
have been insane to have made an attack upon them with the Army 
of the Potomac on his flank and the Army of Virginia in his rear. 

The veterans of the Potomac Army could have been mobilized, 
and one day s march would have brought them to the battlefield. 
Some of them, a very small proportion, did perform efficient serv 
ice ; but as Pope reported, more than 60,000 never drew a trigger 
in the battles. 

I do not consider myself a competent military critic, but no 
man who reasons can avoid forming opinions. It is claimed, in 
excuse for inactivity, that the commands lying in camp south of 
Alexandria were waiting for something ; that the artillery had not 

* The brave McCrickett, who was the last man to leave the bloody field of Bull Run, 
soon after lost his life in the line of duty. 


arrived, and they had not sufficient cavalry support ; but it is cer 
tain that they were demanding transportation by rail which it was 
impossible to furnish, and if they were ready to move by rail, they 
were certainly ready to march less than twenty miles. 

The General"* who declared that he "did not care a for 

John Pope," and pretended to be so anxious to get to the front that 
he took military possession of the railroad and undertook to put 
me in arrest, did not even load his cars when they were furnished 
to him the next morning in sufficient numbers for his whole com 
mand. After waiting for him half a day the cars were withdrawn 
and used for other service ! 

General Pope complained in strong terms of the demoraliza 
tion of the Army of the Potomac, and expressed the opinion that, 
if Franklin, who had been ordered to march on the 24th, had been 
at Centreville, or Cox and Sturgis even as far as Bull Run, Jack 
son s move through Thoroughfare Gap on the 26th would have been 

During this protracted engagement the President was in a 
state of extreme anxiety and could have slept but little. Inquiries 
came from him at all hours of the night, asking for the latest news 
from the front. 

As soon as practicable after the cessation of active operations, 
I returned to my Headquarters Office in Washington and called 
upon Secretary of War Stanton. I was received with much cor 
diality, addressed as General Haupt, and, in the presence of the 
President and most of the Cabinet, who were in the office at the 
time, warmly thanked for what he was pleased to consider the im 
portant service rendered. The next day I received an appointment 
as Brigadier-General of Volunteers, "for meritorious services in 
the recent operations against the enemy near Manassas," dated 
September 5, 1862. 

I returned thanks for the honor conferred and agreed to sub 
scribe to the form of oath and accept the appointment with the 
single condition that when no public duty required my presence, I 
should have leave of absence to protect my interests and reputa 
tion, which were at stake in Massachusetts, in the Hoosac tunnel 
contract. The Secretary fully understood the situation, which 
had become more and more complicated during my absence; but 
he replied that he was not permitted to include conditions in the 
commission, and I expressed a willingness to rest upon a simple 
verbal promise without making a record that might establish a 
troublesome precedent. No further objections were made, and I 
continued to perform service, as before, without pay. 

* General Sturgis. 



A FTER the Army of Virginia was merged into the Army of the 
/"\ Potomac under General McClellan, I was occupied for con 
siderable time in the work of reorganization. The Federal Army 
remained in the defenses around Washington, while the Confed 
erates occupied the Shenandoah Valley and the south side of the 
Potomac. During this period active operations on the part of the 
Military Railroads Construction Corps were suspended, and the 
records furnish no information of special importance. 

General Halleck had, on several occasions, spoken to me of 
the importance of a thorough organization of all the Military Rail 
roads of the United States. He was satisfied that great abuses 
existed, and had caEed the attention of the Secretary of War to the 
fact, but no action had been taken. As a result of another con 
versation on the subject on the morning of Septemebr 16, I ad 
dressed the following communication to General Halleck, accom 
panied by a plan of organization, for his consideration : 

WASHINGTON, September 16, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck. 

SIR : Since my interview with you this morning I have been giving 
some thought to the subject of our conversation, and have concluded to 
venture some suggestions. 

As at present informed, the Department of Military Railroads, ex 
cepting perhaps for the immediate vicinity of the capital, is without a 

If you, or the Secretary of War, should desire to be informed as to 
what roads are in the possession of the United States; how far they are 
in operation ; by whom operated ; what their condition ; what the amount 
of rolling stock; what prices are paid for materials and supplies; 
whether a judicious economy or a lavish expenditure characterizes their 
operation, it would be impossible to procure any direct information on 
any of these subjects, and abuses of great magnitude may exist without 
the power of discovering them. 

To procure information, put it in shape to be readily accessible; 
secure system and uniformity in administration, correct abuses and pro 
mote efficiency, the following arrangements appear to be proper. 

Yours respectfully, H. HATJPT. 

With this letter a detailed plan of organization and operation 
was submitted, but no action was at that time taken. However, 
during the lull in active operations that followed the return of 



General McClellan on September 1, rny Corps was not idle. It 
was engaged in repairing cars and engines, providing material and 
experimenting on devices and expedients for the destruction and 
reconstruction of roads and bridges. 

On Friday, September 19, at Hagerstown, I found Governor 
Curt in, General John F. Beynolds, John A. Wright, and Edward 
McPherson, acting aids to the Governor, and several other officers 
in command of the Pennsylvania Militia. 

At night there was quite a scare from a rumor that the enemy 
was marching to attack Hagerstown. A council was held to con 
sider the expediency of withdrawing the Pennsylvania forces be 
yond the Pennsylvania line. As they had been called out to de 
fend their own State, the Governor, for political and other reasons, 
did not wish them to risk an attack beyond their own territory ; and 
General Reynolds and myself were opposed to the movement for 
reasons stated. 

The vote was a tie, but as the Governor was very uneasy, it 
was decided to order the retirement of the militia. The movement 
commenced at 1 A. M., but as there were no indications of an at 
tack, it was suspended until daylight. Lee was, in fact, at that 
time too busy in getting his retreating army safely across the Poto 
mac after the battle of Antietam to attempt an attack on Hagers 

The next day I rode over the battlefield, where soldiers were 
engaged in burying the dead of both armies, and after an inter 
view with General McClellan at his Headquarters, proceeded via 
Boonsboro to Frederick, and thence, by rail, to Baltimore and 

September 17, a dispatch was received from General Heintzel- 
man desiring an examination of track and bridges as far as Bull 
Run, stating that a considerable force of the enemy was reported 
to be at Centreville, and that the 2d Pennsylvania Cavalry had 
been directed to go as far as Bull Run to cover my reconnois- 
sance. I made this examination personally before starting for 
Hagerstown, and reported road in good condition. 

, rr ARLINGTON, September 17, 1862. 

General Haupt: 

You will please communicate with General Clough, Military Gov 
ernor of Alexandria, who has been directed to furnish you with 100 men. 

The 2d Pennsylvania Cavalry have been ordered to go beyond Fair 
fax Court House as far as Bull Run and, if practicable, to cover your 
reconnoissance on the railroad. They were ordered to start immediately ; 
the order must have reached them about 12 M. 

I have information there is a considerable force of the enemy near 

By command Major-General Heintzelman. 

8 Lieutenant-Colonel, A. A. (7. 


On September 19, by request of W. P. Smith, Superintendent 
of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, I sent a force of carpenters, under 
G. W. Nagle, foreman, to assist in repairing damages on that road. 

September 23, 1862, the following telegram was sent from 
Headquarters of General McClellan, and on the same day a request 
from President Garrett for lumber to assist in the reconstruction 
of the trestling at Harper s Ferry : 

September 23, 1862. 

SIR: The Commanding General directs me to inform you that 
Major-General Heintzelman has been directed to detach two regiments 
of infantry, with (if possible) a section of artillery, to accompany the 
construction party you propose sending to Bristoe Station to-morrow. 

The troops will meet the construction party at Union Mills. Please 
acquaint General Heintzelman by telegraph when the former will be at 
the rendezvous. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Captain A. D. C., A. A. A. G. 

Brigadier-General Haupt. 

September 25, 1862, W. W. Wright, one of my assistants, was 
sent to Harrisburg to take charge of the transportation on the Cum 
berland Valley Railroad, with instructions as follows : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 25, 1862. 
W. W. Wright, Esq. 

SIR: I enclose for your information a copy of "Special Orders, 
No. 248," from the office of the Adjutant-General ; also copies of previous 
instructions, and an extract from a letter addressed by Captain E. C. 
Wilson, Assistant Quartermaster, TJ. S. A., to Quartermaster-General 
Meigs, complaining of the management on the Cumberland Valley Rail 

You will, on receipt of this communication, proceed to Harrisburg, 
see Captain Wilson, ascertain fully the character and magnitude of the 
evils complained of and, if necessary, assume the direction of train 
movements on the Cumberland Valley Railroad. 

In general, it is desirable that roads used wholly or partially for 
military purposes should be operated by and through the regular officers 
in charge of such roads; but when the management is characterized by 
incompetency, or inefficiency, it becomes necessary to assume military 
possession and place in charge agents and officers who will promptly for 
ward troops and government supplies. When the amount of rolling stock 
is insufficient, requisitions must be made upon connecting roads. 

I found it necessary last week to take possession of the Franklin 
Railroad between Chambersburg and Hagerstown, and placed in charge 
J. D. Potts, with whom you will consult in regard to train arrangements. 

My impression was that very little business for the United States 
Government would be required to be done over the line between Harris 
burg and Hagerstown, as troops and supplies can be sent with much 
greater facility via Sandy Hook or Harper s Ferry; but you can ascer 
tain the facts from Captain Wilson and, if necessary, report to him for 
additional instructions. 


In the management of Military Kailroads three points require 
special attention. They are : 

1. Not to allow supplies to be forwarded to the advanced terminus 
until they are actually required, and only in such quantities as can be 
promptly removed. 

2. To insist on the prompt unloading and return of cars. 

3. To permit no delay of trains beyond the time fixed for starting, 
but when necessary and practicable, to furnish extras, if the proper 
accommodation of business requires them. 



Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
United States Military Railroads. 

After the enemy re-crossed the Potomac, September 19, no 
movement was made for some time in pursuit. The enemy re- 
occupied the Shenandoah Valley and the line of the Rappahan- 
nock, and, on October 7, information was received that they had 
reconstructed the bridge across the Rappahannock on the line of 
the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, and were running trains to 
Bristoe, five miles south of Manassas, carrying off the disabled 
engines, car wheels and axles left at that point after Pope s retreat. 

I formed a plan for capturing the rebel train, and sent out a 
force to proceed beyond Bristoe, secrete themselves in the woods, 
obstruct the track when the train had passed so that it could not 
return and capture it. The plan failed by the imprudence of one 
of our men who exposed himself and was seen by the engineer, who 
reversed his engine and returned towards the Rappahannock. 

The following report embraces the Military Railroad opera 
tions from September 13, 1862, to September 27: 

WASHINGTON, September 27, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck. 

SIR: On Thursday, September 18, I was authorized and directed 
by Special Order No. 248 to do whatever I might deem expedient to 
facilitate the transportation of troops and supplies to aid the armies in 
the field in Virginia and Maryland. 

I immediately proceeded to Baltimore, where a conference was held 
with General Wood, Quartermaster Belger, President Garrett and Su 
perintendent Smith of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. 

This conference resulted in changing the route of several regiments 
then ordered to the front, and in establishing the following rule for 
future operations : 

RULE. All troops and supplies sent from Baltimore and points south thereof to 
the army in Maryland shall be forwarded by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad ; and all sent 
from points north of Baltimore, by the York & Cumberland Railroad. 

I was clearly of the opinion that it was expedient in general to 
operate the railroads used for military purposes by and through the regu 
lar officers and employes of such roads, using military authority only 
when necessary to render assistance to them in procuring rolling stock, or 
securing regularity in train movements. 


The efficiency of the management of the officers of the Baltimore & 
Ohio Railroad, their readiness to give Government supplies the prefer 
ence over all other transportation, and the capacity of the road, which is 
greater than any ordinary, or even extraordinary demands that may be 
made upon it, left nothing more to be desired except the prompt return 
of cars from the advanced terminus. Having concluded all necessary 
arrangements, I proceeded the same night to Harrisburg, arriving in that 
city on Friday morning, September 19, at 3 :30 A. M. 

The arrangement of sending supplies from Baltimore and points 
south thereof over the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, relieving the Northern 
Central of its transportation of Government supplies northward, left no 
question as to the ability of this road to meet any anticipated demands 
upon it, and I therefore continued my journey at 7:30 A. M. over the 
York & Cumberland Railroad to Chambersburg where, after many delays 
caused by passing trains, I arrived at 2 :30 p. M. 

The amount of business on the York & Cumberland Railroad ex 
ceeded its capacity for prompt accommodation. About 18 regiments of 
Pennsylvania militia had been sent forward, and more were on the way, 
the Pennsylvania Railroad Company furnishing cars and engines, and 
assisting, as I understand, in the management of the road. Under the 
circumstances, the only action at that point which I considered expedient 
was to order that all private sidings should be vacated, and that all cars 
belonging to individuals, and all others not required for military pur 
poses, should be either run off the tracks or sent to other stations where 
the sidings were not required for the use of the Government. 

I found a very efficient officer in charge of the depot and station at 
Chambersburg, J. D. Potts, formerly Assistant Superintendent on the 
Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, to whom I gave such 
instructions as appeared to be necessary. 

At Hagerstown the main track was blocked with cars ; there was no 
adequate siding or warehouse accommodation, no competent person in 
charge and much confusion existed. I found it necessary to assume 
military possession of the Franklin Railroad between Chambersburg and 
Hagerstown; attended personally to the duty of raising the blockade; 
cleared the track of five or six trains that had accumulated at Hagers 
town; placed Mr. Potts in charge as superintendent; directed him to 
procure a substitute in the Chambersburg office ; left written instructions 
as to the future management, and also wrote to General Kenly, the officer 
understood to be in command at Hagerstown, informing him of the exist 
ing arrangement for transportation, and giving the names of the officers 
in charge. 

On Saturday, September 20, I rode from Hagerstown to Sharps- 
burg, where, after a half hour s interview with General McClellan, I re 
paired to Boonsboro and returned via Frederick City to Baltimore. 

At Monoccacy I found about 200 loaded cars on the sidings, some 
of which had been standing nearly a week. General Wool, at my request, 
sent an efficient officer of his staff to insist upon the unloading and return 
of cars. 

On Monday, September 22, I returned to Washington and made a 
verbal report to you of my doings. 

^ On Tuesday, September 23, having received information that the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company were embarrassed in their opera 
tions in consequence of the non-return of cars, I sent two of our most 
experienced train dispatchers from the O. & A. Railroad over the North- 


ern Central, Pennsylvania and connecting roads to search for and return 
cars of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and of the United 
States Military Railroad. 

The same evening I started for Baltimore and Harper s Ferry to 
render such assistance as might be in my power in opening communica 
tion with that post. 

I arrived at Harper s Ferry about noon on Wednesday, September 
24, and remained until Thursday afternoon, September 25. The supply 
of material being insufficient and the force of mechanics for the railroad 
bridge very small, I telegraphed for the Construction Corps of the O. & A. 
Railroad, which was promptly forwarded, together with about 150,000 
feet of long square timber, which we fortunately had on hand at Alex 

About six days will complete the railroad trestle bridge and secure 
connection with Harper s Ferry, but a much longer time will be required 
to replace the permanent structure. The trestle bridge will be in danger 
of destruction from freshets; the most certain reliance for the supplies, 
in the event of such a contingency, will be the pontoon bridge, which has 
been reconstructed. With proper management at Harper s Ferry and 
Sandy Hook, the supply question presents no difficulty, even in case the 
trestle bridge should be swept away. 

The embarrassments, irregularities and blockades on the United 
States Military Railroads, which are so frequent and so annoying, result 
from three causes, which can be and should be avoided. These are : 

1. Sending supplies to the advanced terminus before they are re 
quired. Such supplies are not unloaded; they block the track, impede 
retreat, and are in danger of capture or destruction. Nothing should be 
sent to the extreme front until it is actually needed. A reasonable 
amount can be kept on some siding a few miles in the rear. 

2. Lack of promptness in unloading and returning cars. Some 
times a single car will be unloaded at a time when there should be force 
sufficient to discharge at once the load of a whole train. Cars are some 
times kept for weeks as storehouses. 

3. Detaining trains beyond schedule time. Nothing more cer 
tainly throws the business of a line into confusion, especially if there be 
but single track. Medical directors and officers should conform to the 
schedule time of trains, or if extras are required for sick, wounded, or 
for supplies, they should always be furnished when practicable; but 
when the hour fixed for starting has arrived, the train should be promptly 

It has been the practice on most roads used for military purposes, 
under the influence of a pressure of business and the impatience of mili 
tary officers, to abandon the schedule and resort to the use of the tele 
graph exclusively for running trains. This practice invariably leads to 
difficulty, and in case of any derangement to the delicate mechanism of 
the telegraph, puts an end to all business and blocks everything upon the 
road. I believe that it is always possible with good management to run 
the trains by schedule and the telegraph, although valuable as an auxil 
iary, should not be used as a principal. It is desirable that uniformity 
should be introduced in the management of all railroads used for mili 
tary purposes. Very respectfully submitted, 


Brigadier- General, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
United States Military Railroads. 


October 9, a communication was sent to Colonel D. C. Mc- 
Callum in reference to placing bullet-proof cabs upon the engines, 
which is as follows : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 9, 1862. 
Colonel D. C. McCallum, Director of Military Railroads. 

DEAR SIR: I have been thinking over the subject of locomotives. 
It is one which, at the present time and in view of the future require 
ments of the service, demands especial attention. Experience has shown 
that on engines men are targets for the enemy; the cabs where they are 
usually seated have been riddled by bullets, and they have only escaped 
by lying on the footboard. It will be necessary to inspire confidence in 
our _ men by placing iron cabs (bullet proof) upon all or nearly all our 
engines, and the necessity will increase as we penetrate further into the 
enemy s country. 

Again, it is desirable that the smaller and more delicate portions 
of the apparatus should be better protected than at present, and I would 
be pleased if you could give to the plans, of which I spoke to you re 
cently, a careful consideration. It seems to me that they are peculiarly 
well adapted to military service. I hope you will investigate the pro 
posed improvements.* 

There is also another subject to which I wish to direct your atten 
tion. Are you positively sure that the agents you have sent to examine 
and value rolling stock are perfectly incorruptible? Are you sure that 
there is no room for jobs or commissions? It seems to me that there is 
only one way of making sure of it, and that is by direct personal exam 
ination and communication with the parties yourself. 

Can you not leave for a few days ? There is but little to do in the 
office. Whiton can attend to the business, and if I can assist, I will do 
it cheerfully. Yours truly, ^ HATJpT 

Chief of Construction and Transportation. 

October 10, 1862, I was requested by General McClellan to 
take steps to reconstruct the railroad to Winchester. As I consid 
ered such reconstruction inexpedient, the following communication 
was sent to General Halleck, who sustained my position, and the 
road was not reconstructed : 

WASHINGTON, October 11, 1862. 
Major-General Halleck. 

SIR: I enclose copies of telegrams from General Rufus Ingalls, 
Chief Quartermaster Army of Potomac, and from W. P. Smith, Esq., 
Superintendent Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. 

On the receipt of the telegram from General Ingalls asking that 
the Winchester Railroad be reconstructed with T rails, I requested Mr. 
Smith to report its condition, which was promptly done. 

It appears that the road is in very bad order ; that even with good 
ordinary repair and good management, its capacity would not exceed 
about sixty cars per day. To reconstruct this road under favorable cir 
cumstances with T rails will require two months. The ties must be 
manufactured and the rails purchased. 

Protected locomotives and bullet-proof cabs were soon after provided as recom 


If the object of our military operations should be simply to expel 
the enemy from Winchester and hold it ourselves without following the 
enemy further, then the immediate reconstruction of this road might be 
a military necessity ; but I cannot suppose that our armies, if successful 
in obtaining possession of Winchester, would stop there; and if the pur 
suit should be continued further, the army supplies will of course be sent 
via the Manassas Gap Railroad. 

Is it expedient, under the circumstances, to reconstruct the Win 
chester Eailroad at present? 

A more intimate acquaintance than I now possess with the plans 
of operations and prospective movements would be required before I 
could answer this question. I therefore very respectfully refer the sub 
ject to you and ask your instructions. -rmrn 

1. JtLAU-r 1, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation, 

United States Military Railroads. 

October 12, General Ingalls informed me that General Mc- 
Clellan approved my suggestions ; that it would be best to supply 
the army via the Manassas Gap Railroad and not reconstruct the 
road to Winchester. 

Received orders from the Secretary of War as follows, which 
were promptly obeyed : 

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., October 17, 1862. 
Brigadier-General Haupt, Superintendent and Military Director of 


GENERAL: You will proceed immediately to inspect the Cumber 
land Valley Railroad and take such measures as may be necessary to 
enforce promptness and efficiency in the transportation and delivery of 
military supplies on that road from Harrisburg to Hagerstown. 

It is represented that the service is inefficiently performed by the 
agents of the Company ; that private and express freight is given prefer 
ence to Government supplies, and that agents are not present to dispatch 

If necessary, you will take possession of the road and its stock, and 
employ the agents needed for running the road as a United States 
Military Eailroad route. ^^ M gTANTON) 

Secretary of War. 

The last battle at Antietam was fought September 17. Lee 
crossed the Potomac September 19. November 1, General Mc- 
Clellan telegraphed the President that all his Corps had crossed 
the Potomac. 

In reference to complaint that the horses were fatigued and 
their tongues sore, the President telegraphed to General McClel- 
lan: "I have just read your dispatch about sore tongues and 
fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses 
of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues 
anything ?" 


October 26, 1862, telegram from General McClellan in 
cipher : 


October 26, 1862, 10:45 A. M. 
General Herman Haupt, Superintendent Railroads: 

I have the honor to request you to ascertain how far the Leesburg 
Railroad is practicable. I have also to request you to be ready to supply 
this army via Orange & Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroads, and 
to take steps at once to reestablish the wharves, etc., at Acquia, and to 
be prepared to rebuild the railroad bridge over the Rappahannock at 
Fredericksburg and to supply that road with rolling stock. 

Major-General Commanding. 

The following reply was returned the same day : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., October 26, 1862, 2 p. M. 
Major-General G. B. McClellan: 

Your commands will receive prompt attention. I have the honor 
to report that from Alexandria to Difficult Creek, a distance of 18 miles, 
the Leesburg Road is in running order. From Difficult Creek to Lees- 
burg about eighteen miles of track have been destroyed, cross ties burned 
and iron scattered through the woods. Spans of bridges, most of them 
150 feet in length, in six different localities, require to be constructed 
before the road can be used. The reconstruction of this road beyond 
Difficult Creek in time for any immediate advance will be impracticable. 

Manassas Gap Railroad: General Siegel reports this road in run 
ning order to Front Royal. In case of an advance the enemy will no 
doubt endeavor to destroy the Goose Creek bridges, and I have ordered 
material to be prepared for their reconstruction. The capacity of this 
road, with present equipments, is about 700 to 900 tons per day, if cars 
are promptly returned and no accident occurs. Please report the prob 
able demands upon this line, and how soon. 

Acquia Creek & Fredericksburg Railroad: The destruction of this 
road was an unfortunate piece of vandalism on the part of our troops. I 
reported to General Halleck that the destruction of this road was un 
necessary, and highly censurable. The Potomac Creek bridge was nearly 
80 feet high and 400 feet long. Nearly all the available timber within 
reach was used in its construction. This bridge was blown down, then 

The reconstruction of the Rappahannock bridge at this season will 
be difficult, and the structure, if rebuilt, precarious. Timber at this 
time is very scarce. Would it not be best to rely on boat and pontoon 
bridges at Fredericksburg ? 

The wharf at Acquia Creek was a very complete affair, covering 
an area of nearly an acre and a half, with double tracks, and commodious 
buildings. It cannot be reconstructed as it was in four months. The 
material cannot be procured in any reasonable time. 

The cars on this road, some 60 in number, were all destroyed at the 
time of the evacuation. 

If it is absolutely necessary to use this road, extraordinary efforts 
will be required to reconstruct it in time to be available, and I respect- 


fully request instructions as to the relative military importance of these 
roads and the order of priority in which they should be prepared for 
service. H HAUPT. 

Reference is here made to the destruction of the wharves and 
property at Acquia Creek on the evacuation by Burnside s Corps. 
I reported at the time that I considered the destruction of stores, 
cars and improvements entirely unnecessary. On short notice 
every pound could have been removed. The landing was at a con 
siderable distance from the shore, the approach by a narrow em 
bankment easily defended, with impassable swamps on both sides. 

When the order to burn was given, some of the subordinate 
officers, it is said, threw up their caps, and expressed much gratifi 
cation, then adjourned to divide a bottle of whisky. 

Why they were pleased is easily explained. The destruction 
of stores on the evacuation of a post settles accounts for all defi 

I was once present in a company of officers when a young 
Quartermaster remarked that the sinking of a steamer on the Mis 
sissippi had settled more shortages than twenty steamers could 
have carried. 

Upon reporting the fact of the unnecessary destruction of so 
much valuable property to General Halleck, he promised to in 
vestigate the matter, ascertain by whose orders the buildings had 
been fired and have the party punished; but it was found that 
General Burnside had given the orders, no doubt on the representa 
tions of subordinates, and no action was taken. As Lee s army 
was away fighting Pope, and no large body of the enemy near, pro 
tection during the removal of the property would have presented 
no difficulty. 

At the next evacuation after the battle of Fredericksburg, 
with Lee s army near at hand on the Rappahannoek, the men of 
my Corps loaded and removed everything of value, even to the 
sashes of the buildings. 

October 27, the following in cipher was received from Gen 
eral McClellan : 


October 27, 11 A. M., 1862. 
Brigadier- General Haupt: 

Please take immediate steps to enable you to forward supplies via 
Orange & Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroads for this army, at 
rate of seven hundred tons per day. Also, be prepared to repair the 
Orange & Alexandria Railroad beyond Manassas Junction wherever 
it may be damaged. Please communicate to the General-in-Chief the 
information you gave me yesterday in regard to the Fredericksburg Rail 
road, and consult with him as to the possibility of repairing that road 
in season to use it for purpose of this campaign. 



The enemy had crossed the Potomac after the battle of An- 
tietam on September 19, but six weeks later the main body of the 
Army of the Potomac had not yet reached the line of the Manassas 
Gap Railroad. About this time General Ingalls came to my office 
and requested transportation to Headquarters, which, he said, had 
been established at Rectortown. 

I expressed my doubts of the fact, but he was positive that 
General McClellan had reached that point. I then said that if he 
was determined to go, I would risk it and go with him. 

An engine was ordered to which two platform cars were at 
tached to hold a guard which was taken on, I think, at Fairfax 
Station. We proceeded without interruption to Manassas, and 
there started on the Gap Road. The road had not been used since 
spring. It was overgrown with grass,, which, when crushed under 
the wheels, caused the drivers to slip badly, and in a short time 
the sand became exhausted. It then became necessary to dismount 
a part of the force and walk ahead of the engine, placing pebbles 
on the track, the crushing of which would help the adhesion. 

Several miles were passed in this way when the water gave 
out. We had fortunately two buckets, and dipped water from 
streams and puddles whenever it could be found. It soon became 
necessary to cut off one of the cars and leave part of the guard; 
then the other car was soon after left, and a few soldiers were taken 
on the tender of the engine. 

Night overtook us, and Rectortown was not reached until after 
midnight, but no information could be had of General McClellan, 
and we were compelled to return in the same manner. 

There was a single cavalryman of Gregg s command at Man 
assas, but none beyond, and at several points we heard of the pres 
ence of Mosby s men the day before. How it happened that we 
were not captured has always been a matter of surprise, for the 
puffing of steam and the slipping of the wheels made a noise that 
could have been heard for more than a mile, giving notice to any 
enemy in the vicinity. 

After passing Fairfax on our return, I met a train, the con 
ductor of which informed me that he had just been fired into at the 
last bridge he crossed. I therefore returned to Fairfax, procured 
a guard and proceeded to the bridge, which had not been injured. 
I then sent out the soldiers to search the woods, but no enemy 
could be found ; there were, however, numerous fresh horse tracks > 
showing that the assailants had been mounted. 


I made the following report on how to destroy bridges and 
locomotive engines expeditiously : 


WASHINGTON, D. C., November 1, 1862. 

A simple and expeditious mode of destroying bridges, and rendering 
locomotive engines useless to an enemy, is often a desideratum. Cavalry 
may penetrate far into an enemy s country, may reach bridges forming 
viaducts on important lines of communication, which it may be desirable 
to break effectually; or, in retreat, the destruction of a bridge may be 
essential to the safety of an army, and yet time may not be sufficient 
to gather combustibles, or they may not be accessible, or the fire may be 
extinguished, or the damage may be so slight as to be easily repaired. 

What is required is the means of certainly and effectually throwing 
down a bridge in a period of time not exceeding five minutes, and with 
apparatus so simple and portable that it can be carried in the pocket or a 

These requirements are fulfilled by a torpedo (see page 101), which 
consists simply of a short bolt of seven-eighths inch iron, eight inches 
long, with head and nut the head to be two inches in diameter, and 
about one inch thick. A washer of same size as the head must be placed 
under the nut at the other end, with a fuse-hole in it. Between the 
washer and the head is a tin cylinder one and three-quarters inches in 
diameter, open at both ends, which is filled with powder, and, when the 
washer and nut are put on, forms a case which encloses it. 

In using this torpedo, a hole is bored in a timber ; the torpedo (head 
downwards) is driven in by a stone or billet of wood, and the fuse 
ignited. The explosion blows the timber in pieces, and, if a main sup 
port, brings down the whole structure. 

The time required is only that which is necessary to bore a hole 
with an auger. Ordinary cigar lighters, which burn without flame, and 
cannot be blown out, are best for igniting the fuse, which should be 
about two feet long. 

For portability, the auger should be short, say thirteen inches, and 
the handle movable and of same length. 

The proper place at which to insert the torpedo is of much conse 
quence. Most of the Virginia bridges are Howe trusses without arches. 
In this kind of bridge, the destruction of the main braces at one end, and 
on only one side of a span, will be sufficient to bring down the whole 
structure. There are usually but two main braces in each panel, and 
two torpedoes will suffice to throw down a span. Two men can bore the 
two holes at the same time without interfering with each other. (See 
illustration on page 191.) 

Cartridges containing a fulminate would be more portable, but 
they are not always conveniently procurable, and their use is attended 
with risk of explosion. 

It is only necessary to operate at one side and on one end of a 
bridge. If one side falls, the other side is pulled down with it. 

If the structure contains an arch, two additional torpedoes will be 
required; but in this case it may be equally advantageous to operate 
upon the lower chord. 

Experiments made at Alexandria proved that a timber placed in 
the position of a main brace, and similarly loaded, was shattered into 
many pieces, some of which were projected by the force of explosion more 
than a hundred feet. 

To Render Locomotives Unfit for Service: The most expeditious 
mode is to fire a cannon ball through the boiler. This damage cannot be 
repaired without taking out all the flues. 

The usual mode of disabling engines consists in burning the flues 


by letting out the water and making a fire in the fire-box ; but this is gen 
erally done so imperfectly that the enemy soon gets them in running 

Cars are Readily Destroyed by Burning: On this subject no 
instructions are necessary. The destruction of more than four hundred 
cars by our own troops within the last six months proves that in the work 
of destroying such property perfection has been attained, and no room 
left for winning fresh laurels in this field. 

The Superintendent of the Orange & Alexandria Military Rail 
road has instructions to furnish sample torpedoes to officers who may 
order them. 

Address "J. H. DEVEREUX, Superintendent of Orange & Alexan 
dria Railroad, Alexandria, Va." TT TJAUPT 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

On November 5, the following telegram was received from 
Superintendent J. H. Devereux, and also one from General Mc- 
Olellan, informing me that the Headquarters would that night be 
near Rectortown: 


November 5, 1862. 
Brigadier-General H. Haupt: 

General McClellan directs me to inform you that his Headquarters 
are to-night at this place. So far as we can learn, railroad is in good 
condition as far as Piedmont, and arrangements should be made to for 
ward supplies to that and other points as soon as possible. Can you not 
send an engine to this point at once for the purpose of ascertaining the 
exact condition of road and to enable the General to communicate with 

Our troops are on the line of the road from Piedmont to Salem, 
and we will have troops at White Plains to-morrow. Our cavalry is in 
the vicinity of Chester Gap. The General is desirous to see you as soon 
as you can conveniently come up. A. V. COLBURN, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

ALEXANDRIA, November 5, 1862. 
H. Haupt, Brigadier-General: 

At 6:40 this morning Moore got back to Manassas from the Gap 
Road. He reports the road is not guarded at any point, although a large 
force was at Gainesville and one at Thoroughfare Gap. He did not see a 
soldier between Gainesville and Manassas, and your outer pickets were at 
Broad Run. He understood troops were at Rectortown. We have an 
engine ready to go if you say so. We may get through, and may not. 

J. H. D. 

On the same day, November 5, 1862, the following General 
Orders was placed on record: 


No. 182. November 5, 1862. 

By direction of the President it is ordered that Major-General 
McClellan be relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac, 
and that Major-General Burnside take command of that Army. 


November 7, 1862, the following were received from General 
McClellan 7 s Headquarters : 

RECTORTOWN, November 6, 1862. 
Brigadier-General Haupt: 

General McClellan desires me to say that we are in possession of 
Warrenton. General Sickles has been directed to push troops forward to 
Warrenton Junction and to cover any working party that you may have 
on the railroad. The road should be put in running order as soon as 
possible in order that the movements of the troops need not be delayed. 


Assistant Adjutant-General. 

CAMP RECTORTOWN, November 6, 1862. 
General Meigs : 

Supplies of subsistence and forage should be forwarded to this 
army at convenient points. The supplies should be held in readiness in 
cars on sidings at Manassas so that the trains can be started to any point 
required at a moment s notice. We require at least one large train of 
supplies at Salem immediately. It is expected that the amount ordered 
by General McClellan some days since is now near here. We shall 
require an equal amount on the 8th at Warrenton or at the Junction. 

I request that you will order all the cars that can be obtained shall 
be loaded with subsistence and grain and be held in readiness at Man 
assas subject to move on orders from these Headquarters. General 
Haupt reported to General McClellan that the road can transport seven 
hundred tons daily. If such is the fact, we will not suffer, but the road 
must not fail us. Please have the road put in repair from Acquia Creek 
to Richmond via Fredericksburg. RUFUS INGALLS 

Lieutenant-Colonel, A. D. C. 
Chief Quartermaster Army of Potomac, etc. 

November 8, 1862, in consequence of interruption to trains 
by guards under pretense of examining passes, the following note 
was sent to the officer in command, which produced the desired 
effect : 

ALEXANDRIA, November 8, 1862. 
Colonel Wendell, of New Jersey Volunteers. 

SIR : Last night, in returning to Alexandria from General McClel- 
lan s Headquarters in special train, I was stopped by guards near Edsall s 
under command of Captain Plunt, who informed me that he had instruc 
tions from you to stop all trains and examine passes of all persons 

As this action is in violation of the orders of the Commander-in- 
Chief, I suppose it results from ignorance of those orders, and I there 
fore send you the following, addressed to myself : 

"No military officer will give any orders to your subordinates, 
except through you; nor will any of them attempt to interfere with the 
running of the trains. H w HALLECK." 

It remains for me to say that the stoppage of trains when under 
full headway on the main track for the purpose of examining passes, or 
for any other purpose, cannot be permitted. Passes should be examined 


at stations, and I will afford every facility in my power to enforce proper 
regulations in this regard. 

If, notwithstanding this communication, you intend to persist in 
stopping trains, please send me copy of the orders under which you are 
acting, that I may bring the subject to the notice of the General-in-Chief. 
An immediate answer is requested, which please return by bearer. 

Very respectfully yours, 


Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

In the attempt to re-establish transportation on the line of the 
railroad, more trouble was often given by our own soldiers than by 
the enemy. Camps had been established near the road and near 
the stations. Soldiers would tear up sidings, break switch-stands, 
burn the wood provided for the engines, wash clothes and persons 
with soap in the springs and streams which supplied the water sta 
tions, and many engines were stopped on the road by foaming 
boilers caused by soapy water. In consequence of these annoy 
ances and the delays consequent thereon, a stringent special order 
was issued by the Secretary of War. 

ALEXANDRIA, November 9, 1862, 9 :15 p. M. 
General Haupt : 

The sidings at Camp Upton, on Loudon & Hampshire Railroad, 
have been destroyed by our own soldiers so as to render them unfit for 
use until repaired. Other acts of vandalism occur daily along the line 
of Orange & Alexandria Railroad, such as wasting water and burning 
all the wood distributed at stations. I sent to Manassas yesterday wood 
sufficient to last until Tuesday ; it was all consumed this evening. 

Broad Run bridge was finished this evening and trains will leave 
Manassas to-morrow morning at 6 o clock to run through to Warrenton 
Junction, repairing track, etc., on the way up. I go to Manassas to-night. 


WASHINGTON, November 4, 1862. 
Major-General Heintzelman. 

SIR : I reported to Major-General McClellan,- in reply to a call for 
- information, that the capacity of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, 
with the equipments at our command, without accident or detention, was 
from 700 to 900 tons per day. The demands, I find, will exceed 1,500 
tons per day. We have taken 200 cars from other roads and must pro 
cure 350 cars in addition. We have lost 402 cars captured, or destroyed, 
and we have now less than 300, only part of which are available. 
Demands are made daily for troop transportation which I have directed 
the Superintendent to refuse if it will interfere with the transportation 
of supplies. As the road is in bad order and detention and blockades 
may occur, I recommend the establishment of a depot at Manassas suffi 
cient for three days, if we occupy it in such strength that we cannot be 
driven out. 

I learn that there is not a guard on the road between Fairfax Sta 
tion and Union Mills, although we have five bridges in that interval. I 
do not know that the line of the Occoquan is watched, and you may con- 


sider it officious if I inquire, but I have heretofore considered it my duty 
to. look after everything which affected the safe and efficient operation 
of the railroads under my charge. 

General McDowell, when in command, directed the officers in com 
mand of guards to confer with me in regard to details. If you will 
inform me whose duty it is to attend to these details, I will communicate 
directly with that officer and relieve you of any further annoyance. 

Efforts should be made to prevent, if possible, the destruction of 
the bridges between Manassas and the Rappahannock ; also the bridges 
between Rectortown and Markham on the Manassas Gap Railroad. 

I may, perhaps, appear to you officious in making so many inquiries 
and suggestions in regard to the protection of the road and bridges, but, 
as the successor of General Banks, I consider it my duty to consult with 
you as I did and was directed to do with him. 

Our railroad men, although unarmed and defenseless, do not shirk 
any duty, however hazardous, if I direct them to proceed. They have 
occupied the most exposed positions ; some of them have been killed and 
some captured, but we cannot afford to risk them unnecessarily. Their 
places cannot readily be supplied, and I have therefore presumed to in 
quire as to the arrangements for guarding the roads and the numbers, 
positions and instructions of the forces detailed for this duty, in order 
that I might be able to give directions and assurances to our men based 
on a personal knowledge of the facts. 

Before ordering our men to exposed positions, I wished to feel 
satisfied that such reasonable and proper arrangements had been planned 
for their protection as circumstances would permit, and that instructions 
had been actually carried out, guards and outposts in position, before 
commencing railroad transportation or construction. 

At our last interview you remarked that the officers sent to guard 
the roads would no doubt attend to their business, and that you could 
not go yourself, from which I inferred that my frequent calls upon you 
were becoming annoying; but excuse me for saying that from past ex 
perience I have but little confidence that the lines will be guarded prop 
erly, unless specific instructions are given as to the positions to be occu 
pied in advance, the forces required, and manner in which the duty is 
to be performed. It is also desirable, even if not absolutely necessary, 
that the officer in charge of the construction and operation of the roads 
should know what the arrangements are. If you think it not improper 
that I should have this information, and will suggest any way of obtain 
ing it, other than by calling upon yourself, I will refrain from tres 
passing upon your time. Very respectfully submitted, 


In Charge of Construction and Operation 
United States Military Railroads. 

November 6, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War. 

DEAR SIR: Mr. Moore, engineer of tracks, telegraphs that he has 
been over the road beyond Piedmont, over the Goose Creek bridges, and 
found everything all right. 

I go to Rectortown to see General McClellan to-morrow. 

We will have tough times on the railroad. You recollect the diffi 
culty of supplying General McDowell s army and the confusion that 
reigned for some time. That was in June, when grass could be obtained ; / 
now 60,000 animals must be fed exclusively by rail, and General McClel- 


lan s requirements for transportation are four or five times as great as 
McDowell s. Never before, perhaps, has a single-track railroad, of such 
limited capacity, been so severely taxed, and if we can succeed in for 
warding necessary supplies, it will only be by most extraordinary good 
management and good luck combined. Expect plenty of grumbling, 
but I shall go ahead. Yours truly, - 

ALEXANDRIA, November 8, 1862. 
P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War. 

SIR : I have just returned from Headquarters of General McClel- 
lan, and report as follows: 

Of the cars sent over the Manassas Gap Railroad but few had been 
unloaded and returned. Even the places for depots had not been deter 
mined upon. Of course, the movements of the line were blocked. No 
more cars could be sent until those in advance were unloaded and re 

At a conference with General McClellan and Colonels Ingalls and 
Clark last night, the whole subject of transportation was discussed, ex 
plained and, I think, understood; and if arrangements then and there 
made and ordered to be carried out are conformed to, there will be no 
trouble about supplies in future. I was gratified to receive the assur 
ance from both the Chief Quartermaster and the Chief Commissary that 
there had been no suffering or inconvenience from deficiency of supplies 
up to the present time. The details of arrangements it is unnecessary 
to trouble you with. It is sufficient to say that they were satisfactory 
to all parties. 

The propriety of reconstructing the Fredericksburg Railroad was 
considered, and a reconnoissance ordered to ascertain the exact present 
condition of the bridges. I will go personally to see what can be done 
towards reconstructing the wharf, or providing a substitute. 

By obstructing temporarily the passage for vessels, we have been 
able to run cars and engines over the Long Bridge without much inter 
ruption. Yesterday, in consequence of the high wind, but little progress 
could be made in driving piles, but I am informed that the work will be 
advanced so far as to permit the passage of boats to-night. 

A construction party was sent to Broad Run, and the bridges will 
be reconstructed to-day. 

Trains are daily stopped by guards about five miles from Alexan 
dria under the pretense of examining passes ; this must not be permitted. 
I cannot ascertain what general officer, if any, ordered it. I have sent a 
communication to the officer in command, and if the practice is not 
discontinued, I will take such further action as may appear to be neces 
sary. Yours very respectfully, TT TjATJPT 

The last telegram that I find among my records from General 
McClellan is dated November 7, on which day he probably re 
ceived notice that he had been relieved. I had been confidentially 
advised of the change of commanders by Assistant Secretary Wat 
son, and had brought out the bearer of dispatches, General Wads- 
worth, I think, in a special train. 

I took supper with McClellan that evening in his tent, and he 
seemed to be entirely ignorant at the time of the fact that, within 


one hour, he would be relieved. He was speaking to me of pro 
posed operations, which I knew he would have no opportunity to 
carry into effect. 

General McClellan always treated me with kindness and con 
sideration, and my suggestions in regard to the lines of communica 
tion, by which his army could be best supplied, were approved and 
acted upon. I felt a warm sympathy for the pain he must experi 
ence when the intelligence of his removal should reach him. Per 
sonally, I esteemed General McClellan highly, but as a commander 
he was too slow and his caution excessive. He did not wish to 
move until he could strike with positive certainty. When all the 
reinforcements and supplies he invariably asked for had been fur 
nished, he would continue to ask for something more, something 
else, until the patience of the President, following that of Secre 
tary Stanton, became completely exhausted. 

General McClellan has been severely criticised for allowing 
Lee to cross the Potomac and escape after the battle of Antietam, 
but I am not prepared to say that, under the conditions then exist 
ing, it could have been prevented. 

If General McClellan had been aware of Lee s intended move 
ments ; if he had himself been free from any apprehension of at 
tack and could have detached safely a considerable portion of his 
force to occupy the south bank of the Potomac with artillery and 
destroy the bridges, then Lee might have been captured; but the 
retreat was made so promptly that the enemy had crossed before 
McClellan was aware of the fact. 

Of course, it was natural to suppose that, after his defeat at 
Antietam, when Lee had moved south to the Potomac, he would re- 
cross the river. It is possible, therefore, that if McClellan had 
immediately placed the main body of his army in a defensible posi 
tion on the river below Lee, and thrown a part of his force on the 
south side, he might have prevented the escape ; but there were few 
Generals who were capable of moving with the celerity that this 
would have required, for in two days after the battle Lee s extraor 
dinary activity had landed him safely on the soil of Virginia, 
while McClellan was actually expecting a renewal of the battle on 
the north side ! 



{ACCOMPANIED General Halleck, at his request, to the Head 
quarters of General Burnside, and after he had been placed in 
command no time was lost by me in informing him of the condition 
of the railroads, upon which he was dependent for supplies, and the 
absolute necessity of proper order and system in their operation. 
He assented to the propriety of the positions taken, and gave assur 
ances that he would cooperate in all measures to promote safety 
and efficiency, yet there was no other commander of any of the 
armies with which I was connected, who so frequently forgot his 
promises and caused so much delay and embarrassment by giving 
orders to subordinates in conflict with instructions from the head 
of the Department. 

On the next day the following communication was sent to 
General Burnside : 

WASHINGTON, November 9, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

Arrangements in regard to transportation were fully discussed, 
explanations made, and a program determined upon between General 
McClellan, his chief Quartermaster and Commissary, and myself pre 
vious to his removal. As you are now in chief command, I think it 
proper to report to you and ask instructions in regard to certain points. 

The road by which your army is to be supplied is a single track, 
without sidings sufficient for long trains, without wood and with insuffi 
cient supply of water, a road which has heretofore failed to supply an 
army of one-fourth the size of that which you command, a road, the 
ordinary working capacity of which is not equal to the half of your re 
quirements, but which, by a combination of good management and good 
fortune, may be able to furnish your supplies. To do this, it is abso 
lutely necessary that at each and every depot a force should be in readi 
ness to unload a train as soon as it arrives; the contents of cars must 
be unloaded on the ground and afterwards moved, if necessary, to more 
convenient points. The force should be sufficient to unload all the cars 
of a train at once. 

Railway employes are required to be civil and accommodating, and 
if they are not, they will be promptly dismissed; but the convenience 
of local quartermasters and commissaries must give way before the re 
quirements of a service far more imperative than it has ever been before. 
Trains have been frequently detained for hours to move supplies for 



very short distances to save handling. I desire respectfully but most 
urgently to impress upon you the importance of making your orders so 
imperative that they dare not be disobeyed, and that cars shall, on their 
arrival at each and every depot, be immediately unloaded and returned. 
I say again, that without this the supply of your army is impossible. 
No man living can accomplish it. 

A second point to which I wish to direct your attention is the im 
portance of establishing a depot of reserve supplies at Manassas to draw 
upon in case of any break in the road between Manassas and Alexandria, 
and as the army advances, depots at intervals of 30 or 40 miles should be 
made to guard against the consequences of breaks in the connection. 
If you advance far, the operation of the road will present greater diffi 
culty; its protection against raids will be almost impossible, and the 
breaks of connection will become frequent from various causes not de 
pendent on the movement of the enemy. 

The difficulty of operating a long line of railroad, with an exposed 
flank, satisfies me that the reconstruction of the Fredericksburg Rail 
road, so uselessly destroyed, is a military necessity. If this is your 
opinion, please advise me of the fact, that no time may be lost in prepara 
tion. The last time I spoke to General Halleck on this subject, he said 
that the question of reconstructing this road was not settled; when it 
was, he would advise me. Since then I have not heard from him, but I 
am sure that when you advance the Orange & Alexandria Railroad alone 
will be a very insecure reliance. 

The subject of guarding the railroad is a very important one, but 
no detention of trains by guards on any pretense should be permitted. 
The proper protection of the road between Alexandria and Manassas 
requires that the line of the Occoquan should be well watched. 

As other duties will prevent me from seeing you for some days, I 
hope you will not consider these suggestions and statements as out of 
place. H HAT j PT) 

Brigadier- General, 

In Charge of Construction and Operation of 
United States Military Railroads. 

November 10, 8 A. M. 
General Haupt: 

Your dispatch received and suggestions approved, for which I am 
much obliged. I send to General Halleck special messenger to-day with 
plan of operations. Please get from General Cullum a copy of my sug 
gestions as to the Acquia Creek Road, sent some days ago from Pleasant 
Valley, and get ready for the work on that road. Don t fail to send me 
at any time your views. E BURtfSIDE, 

Major-General Commanding. 

In order to make my plans as nearly absolutely effective as 
possible, Secretary Stanton issued the following : 

SPECIAL ORDER. WASHINGTON, November 10, 1862. 

I. Commanding officers of troops along the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad will give all facilities to the officers of the road and the Quar 
termaster for loading and unloading cars, so as to prevent any delay. 
On arrival at depots, whether in the day or night, the cars will be in- 


stantly unloaded, and working parties will always be in readiness for 
that duty, and sufficient to unload the whole train at once. Command 
ing officers will be charged with guarding the track, sidings, wood, water 
tanks, etc., within their several commands, and will be held responsible 
for the result. Any military officer who shall neglect his duty in this 
respect will be reported by the Quartermasters and officers of the rail 
road, and his name will be stricken from the rolls of the army. 

II. Depots will be established at suitable points under the direc 
tion of the Commanding General of the Army of the Potomac, and 
properly guarded. 

III. No officer, whatever may be his rank, will interfere with the 
running of the cars, as directed by the Superintendent of the road. Any 
one who so interferes will be dismissed from the service for disobedience 
of orders. 

By order of the Secretary of War. 


Instructions were given to W. W. Wright to prepare for the 
reconstruction of the wharves at Acquia Creek and the road to 
Fredericksburg. It was recommended that several regiments of 
infantry, some cavalry, and a couple of gunboats be sent to protect 
the working parties, and that canal barges be collected upon which 
to remove loaded cars from Alexandria as soon as General Halleck 
gave authority for the commencement of the work. 

On November 11, requisition was made upon the Quarter 
master for a large number of Schuylkill barges, pile-drivers, piles, 
scows, boats and anchors. 

On the same day General Halleck notified General Burnside 
to arrange for a meeting with him the next day, and that General 
Meigs and General Haupt would accompany him, asking General 
Burnside also to carefully consider the views of the President as 
expressed in a letter of September 13, of which he inclosed a copy, 
that it might be talked over understandingly when they met. 

At this interview, at which I was present by request of Gen 
eral Halleck, General Burnside expressed a strong disinclination 
to take the command. He said : "I am not fit for it. There are 
many more in the army better fitted than I am ; but if you and the 
President insist, I will take it and do the best I can." 

After other matters were settled, I endeavored to impress 
upon the General the absolute necessity of preventing military 
interference with the trains, and the importance of prompt unload 
ing and returning of cars. 

On November 12, 1862, an order was received from the Sec 
retary of War to give receipt for property delivered to railroads 
for transportation. 


WASHINGTON, November 12, 1862. 
Brigadier-General H. Haupt, United States Volunteers. 

SIR: The Secretary of War directs that you instruct your agents 
to give receipts for all supplies heretofore turned over to them for trans 
portation to the staff officers accountable for such supplies. 

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Attempts had been made previously by officers, both of the 
Quartermaster and Commissary Department, to induce our agents 
to give receipts for Government property. Such requests were 
simply absurd and unreasonable. The Railway Department was 
charged simply with the construction and operation of roads, not 
with the custody of property. 

Had the Secretary gone outside of his interested army officers, 
as he finally did, for advice on this point he would not have com 
mitted the error of issuing such an order. On receipt of it, I im 
mediately sent the following reply : 

WASHINGTON, November 13, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Sianton, Secretary of War. 

SIR: A communication this day received, signed E. D. Townsend, 
Assistant Adjutant-General, informs me that by your direction I am 
instructed to require my agents to receipt for all supplies heretofore 
turned over to them for transportation to the staff officer accountable 
for such supplies. 

It affords me pleasure at all times to comply with your wishes and 
carry out your instructions, but if impediments exist, or if I am cog 
nizant of material facts which I have reason to believe you are un 
acquainted with, I consider it my duty to suspend action, report the 
facts, and ask instructions. 

The object of the receipt is, of course, to relieve the officers of the 
Commissary and Quartermaster Department of all responsibility after 
the cars are loaded, and it is perfectly right and proper that they should 
have such relief, but it does not appear to be right to throw the responsi 
bility upon a railway superintendent, who has nothing to do with loading 
or unloading the cars, no opportunity of examining their contents, and 
no power to protect them when on the road. 

Even guards themselves, I am informed, have broken into cars 
containing hospital stores and appropriated stimulants. 

The responsibilities and labors of the superintendents are very 
great, and I could not find really competent men who would be willing 
to accept the position if they were increased, as proposed. 

Very respectfully submitted, jj jjAUPT 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

This communication was followed by a personal interview 
with the Secretary, in which he declined to recede from his posi 
tion, and insisted that the order should be complied with. I there 
fore sent the following next morning : 


WASHINGTON, November 15, 1862. 
Eon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

SIR: Since my conversation with you last evening, I have given 
the subject of freight receipts further consideration, and the more I re 
flect upon it, the greater do the difficulties appear. 

The cars are loaded and unloaded by the Quartermaster, and the 
custody of the contents does not, as I have understood it, pass out of 
that Department. The cars can be locked by the Quartermaster ; he can 
seal them as cars of through freights are sealed in the West ; he can send 
his own special agent with each train to deliver to and secure receipts 
from the consignee and to report any loss by robbery or otherwise that 
may occur upon the route. 

The duties of railway employes are, or ought to be, confined simply 
to the movements of the trains, not to the custody of the contents of the 
cars, and the transfer of responsibility to them, instead of increasing the 
security of the Government, would, on the contrary, impair it greatly. 

Suppose the present representatives of the Quartermaster s Depart 
ment should be succeeded by gentlemen whose integrity was less un 
questionable, and they should ask for and receive receipts from the rail 
way managers for a greater quantity of stores than had been loaded in 
the cars, the doors would be open to fraud to an unlimited extent, and 
the temptation might, in some cases, be too strong for human weakness. 

Suppose the transfer of custody should take place and a deficiency 
be discovered upon delivery, the value of that deficiency could not be 
recovered from the railway employes or agents, and if you should proceed 
a step farther and require them to give bonds, they could not comply, 
for no responsible party with a knowledge of the facts would ever enter 
into bonds. 

If security is required of railway agents, they could only protect 
themselves by placing a careful and incorruptible representative at each 
and every car that is loaded by day or night, but even this would not be 
sufficient; it would afford a check only on the number of packages, none 
whatever upon the contents and weights. It would be further necessary 
to weigh every package and examine contents before the check could 
be complete. Such an arrangement would require a large addition to the 
force of employes, would be expensive, would cause great inconvenience 
and delay, and there would still be an opening for fraud by collusion 
between the two classes of employes. 

I think the enclosed order would simply, effectually, and econom 
ically dispose of the whole difficulty. 

One remark more appears to be proper. If the railroad were man 
aged by the Quartermaster s Department, as was at one time proposed, 
it would have been necessary, either to send supplies over the road 
without receipts, or send an officer in charge to give and receive them. 
This is precisely what I now propose, and have several times previously 
proposed should be done, and which the consignors have had the privi 
lege of doing at any and all times. The mere fact that the trains are 
moved by a set of employes, trained and skilled in that particular 
service, should not affect in any way the responsibilities of the shippers 
and receivers. The movement of a car does not necessarily involve re 
sponsibility for its contents. 

The above remarks and suggestions are very respectfully submitted. 


In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 


"Ordered: That the agents and employes of the United States 
Military Railroads shall have no control or responsibility for the con 
tents of cars containing supplies, such supplies shall not pass out of the 
custody of the consignor until delivered to and receipted for by the con 

"The consignor shall be permitted, at his discretion, to seal or lock 
any cars containing stores that might be stolen, and to send a special 
agent with each train, who will report any robbery to the proper officer." 

Mr. Stanton sent for Assistant Secretary Watson to come and 
read my communication and give his opinion. Watson said I was 
right. This did not seem to satisfy the Secretary, who replied: 
"Take it to Meigs and see what he thinks of it." This was done 
and, after a perusal of the papers, they were returned with the re 
mark : "I think General Haupt is entirely correct." 

When this was repeated to the Secretary he jumped from his 
seat, as Watson told me, paced the room for some time, and then 
stopping in front of him said : "To rescind this order will make 
me ridiculous. I issued a peremptory order, and will not take it 
back; but if you and Meigs say that it cannot be enforced, go to 
Haupt and tell him to consider it a dead letter." 

The scheme was a nice one for those who had charge of Gov 
ernment property to throw the responsibility upon the Railroad 
Bureau, and hold its officers accountable for shortages. It would 
have been easier to settle accounts in this way than by burning 
depots, a plan resorted to occasionally. 

No further efforts were made to extort receipts from the Mili 
tary Railroad Department. 

The reconstruction of the wharves and track from Acquia 
Creek to Fredericksburg was prosecuted with unprecedented ex 
pedition. It was on November 10 that I directed W. W. Wright 
to hold himself in readiness to commence work so soon as General 
Halleck should decide upon its necessity. It was November 11 
when a telegram was sent to Colonel Belger at Baltimore to pro 
vide canal boats, and five days later, November 17, considerable 
progress had already been made in the work of reconstruction. 
The Superintendent reported that, in five days after commence 
ment, a section of the wharf 1,000 feet long was completed, and a 
locomotive and cars landed and trains commenced running to Poto 
mac Creek. In five days more trains were running to the Rappa- 

The Schuylkill barges answered admirably, and thus was 
formed a new era in Military Railroad transportation. Two of 
these barges were placed parallel to each other and long timbers 
bolted transversely. The length of the barges was sufficient for 
eight tracks carrying eight cars, and two such floats would carry the 
sixteen cars which constituted a train. 


In this way hundreds of loaded cars were transferred from 
the advanced position of the Army, on the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad, loaded on the floats, towed sixty miles to Acquia Creek, 
transferred from river to rail, and sent to Falmouth without break 
of bulk, in about the same time required to march the army across 
the country by land. Supplies were at Falmouth as soon as there 
were forces there for their protection. 

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 17, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

I have just returned from Acquia Creek. Some stores were on 
transports yesterday afternoon ready to be landed at Belle Plain. Sev 
eral companies of the Engineer brigade on transports are probably now 
ashore. The wharf at Acquia is not entirely burned, but is worst where 
the track was located. I have ordered the track to be moved over and 
reconstructed on the side least damaged. Cars and engines will be 
loaded immediately and sent to Acquia to be unloaded as soon as the 
track will bear their weight. 

Eight small cars will be sent to-day, landed by lighters, loaded with 
tents, tools and rations, pushed by hand to the broken bridges, and 
accompanied by carpenters with escort of Engineer troops to have 
bridges repaired, if possible, by the time cars and engines are landed 
and put on track. As soon as bridges are repaired and even five or six 
cars landed, we will begin to run in supplies to Falmouth to relieve 
wagons to that extent, and increase daily. 

The construction of a floating wharf or new pile wharf at Acquia 
is not a question for present consideration while time is so much of an 
object. New construction could not be made in double the time re 
quired for repairs of former structure. A machine shop will be extem 
porized at Acquia by sending lathe, planer, portable engine, small tools 
and shafting. Army forges will be furnished to smithshops. 


A very costly irregularity in military detail is treated in the 
following communication : 

WASHINGTON, November 18, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

SIR: The Superintendent of the Orange & Alexandria Kailroad, 
in his daily report of operations, states that 142 cars were yesterday and 
last night returned loaded from Warrenton and other stations. 

I call your attention to this fact as indicating the probable exist 
ence of an evil which requires a corrective. While the Railway Depart 
ment has been making the most extraordinary efforts, day and night, to 
forward supplies represented as necessary, to enable the army to move 
forward, requisitions have been made and filled for articles which ap 
pear to be entirely unnecessary, and which, when the army moves, must 
be reloaded and sent back, or, as has been frequently the case in exposed 
positions, destroyed by the application of the torch. The 142 cars re 
turned loaded in the recent movement have a capacity of 2,800,000 
pounds equivalent to six days rations of three pounds each of 150,000 
men, or its equal in weight in other supplies. 

The fact of returning so large an amount unused, would seem to 
indicate an excessive supply for the army at a time when it was only 


awaiting a sufficient supply to enable it to advance, but owing to in 
equalities of distribution, this excess had probably not been general, 
and has not been a consequence of necessary depot requirements. Some 
regiments or brigades may have had, and I understand have had, an 
excess, and others a deficiency. 

The irregularity of distribution appears to be an evil vitally 
affecting the efficiency of the army, and results apparently from the fact 
that the authority to make requisitions is not sufficiently centralized. 
Each Quartermaster acts independently, and with the approval of his 
immediate superior; sends orders which are filled, without regard to any 
rules of priority. Hence, it may follow that Quartermasters who are 
most frequent and most importunate in their applications may receive 
an excess beyond their power properly and economically to use, while 
others may not procure that which is absolutely necessary for the troops 
which it is their duty to supply. 

The avoidance of these very serious evils may be difficult, and I 
may not comprehend all that is in the way ; but with my present informa 
tion the remedy would appear to be both simple and practical. It con 
sists in requiring all Quartermasters and Commissaries in an Army 
Corps to make their requisitions through one staff officer, who should 
keep a record of such requisitions and be able to ascertain at a glance 
the supplies that have been delivered to each regiment and their com 
parative necessities. 

At the principal depots the requisitions of the different Army Corps 
could in like manner be equalized, and the deliveries proportioned to 
the numerical strength and actual requirements of each Corps. 

As the armies in the field are mainly supplied by rail, and as the 
responsibilities of rail transportation devolve chiefly upon myself, these 
suggestions, designed to promote the efficiency of the service in this De 
partment, will not, I trust, be deemed officious or impertinent. 
Yours very respectfully, -g- jjAFPT 

In Charge of Construction and Operation 
United States Military Railroads. 

WASHINGTON, November 17, 1862. 
Wm. W. Wright, Esq., Superintendent R. F. & P. R. R.: 

In resuming operations on the Kichmond, Fredericksburg & Poto- * 
mac Railroad you will conform to the following instructions : 

Your position will be that of Superintendent of the Richmond, 
Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, and, until otherwise ordered, you 
will also perform the duties of engineer. 

You will nominate and, with my approval, appoint, assistants and 
employes, and fix their compensations, which shall not exceed the rates 
heretofore paid on other Military Railroads. 

Employes now in service of Military Railway Department, who 
can be transferred, to have preference over new appointees. 

Requisitions for material or supplies to be made through the 
Quartermaster, unless the amount is small or the necessities urgent. 
Such requisitions should be submitted to Colonel D. C. McCallum for 

Time of employes, certified by you, to be returned to the paymaster. 

Trains to be run on former schedule and in convoys in preference 
to extras. Force to be sufficient to unload a whole train at once ; if not, 
the fact and names of officers to be reported. See Special Order 337 and 
circular, the instructions in which are to be conformed to. 


Transportation to be commenced as soon as an engine and a few 
cars can be landed. The train, so long as there is but a single one, will 
run without regard to schedule, as rapidly as cars can be loaded and un 
loaded. There must be no intermission day or night. When a second 
engine is landed, one can run by day and one at night. Until fifty or 
sixty cars are delivered, you will not require a third engine. 

The details of construction and the order of priority have been dis 
cussed, and you have my views. I will only say, work all the force upon 
the wharf that is possible. If boats cannot be procured, make floats. 
Put up no buildings until the wharf is finished. Let the forwarding of 
supplies be the first consideration, and personal convenience the last. 
Yours respectfully, H. HAUPT, 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

November 18, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

In resuming transportation southward from Acquia Creek, certain 
matters will require your attention, which I think should be regulated 
by orders from Headquarters. 

Passes I forbid the Superintendent of the Military Railroads to 
give any passes except to employes. All other passes must be given by 
the military authorities. The ordinary practice has been for the Provost 
Marshal of Washington or Alexandria to give passes to Acquia Creek. 
The commandant at the post gives passes to Fredericksburg, which are 
examined by a guard at the depot. This system is perhaps as good as 
any, if officers acting as aides to Provost Marshals will cease to scatter 
these passes broadcast, as has been too often the case. 

Newspapers Newspaper boys traveling daily on trains are an un 
necessary nuisance. The proper plan is for the Superintendent to for 
ward the bundles of papers properly directed to a local agent, by whom 
they can be distributed. 

Smuggling Large quantities of contraband goods have no doubt 
been sent over the road by Jews, sutlers and others, marked with the 
names of officers. Just before General Pope s retreat I procured the 
issuing of an order that all such packages should be delivered by the 
railway agents to the Provost Marshal, who would deliver to the party 
named thereon only upon a written declaration that the package con 
tained the private property of the individual, and nothing else, such 
declaration not to interfere with the right of examination, and when the 
amounts were excessive, the facts were to be reported to the General in 

These are some of the abuses which only stringent orders, faith 
fully executed by Provost Marshals, can prevent. I respectfully report 
them for your consideration and action. 


In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

On November 17, a telegram from General Burnside ex 
pressed gratification at progress at Acquia Creek, and informed me 
that General Sumner would occupy Falmouth that night. 

At this time the advanced positions on the line of the Orange 
& Alexandria Railroad had been abandoned, and the officer in com 
mand of the rear guard applied for a train to remove his men and 


material. General Burnside, having decided that the road was no 
longer safe, the officer was directed to use his wagons, horses and 

On November 22, I sent a telegram in cipher to General 
Burnside, making certain suggestions which I thought worthy of 
consideration : To cross the river and occupy Fredericksburg and 
the strong position on the height before the enemy could concen 

There may have been good reasons for not taking this course, 
and General Burnside was in a far better position to know the 
whole situation than myself. The movement may have been im 
practicable or inexpedient at that time, and I knew that General 
Burnside would not act on any suggestion from me, unless his own 
judgment approved, and if there might be assurance, there would 
at least be no harm in making suggestions. 

If this movement could have been made at the time indicated 
instead of waiting until the enemy had concentrated and occupied 
a position which the natural topography made almost impregnable, 
the result of the battle of Fredericksburg, if fought at all, might 
have been very different. 

November 22, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

Several days must elapse before the railroad to Fredericksburg 
can be reconstructed, several days more before, in addition to daily sup 
plies, ten or twelve days rations can be accumulated in advance. Cars 
and engines must be transported from Alexandria and unloaded singly. 
This takes time. 

Suppose your whole army should be thrown on the south side of 
the Rappahannock, communicating by boat and pontoon bridges, would 
it not cover and protect the navigation of the stream? Could not sup 
plies of all kinds be sent by water to Fredericksburg in greater quantities 
and in shorter time than in any other way ? 

Could you not be prepared to advance much sooner than if de 
pendent upon supplies exclusively by rail? If unsuccessful, could you 
not retire behind the Rappahannock, by which time a full depot would 
be formed at Falmouth? If successful, could you not draw supplies 
from White House or James River while we reconstruct the road to 
Richmond for the purpose of daily communication with Washington ? 

I make these suggestions reluctantly. You have no doubt con 
sidered them already. If you have or have not, they can do no harm. 


November 29, 1862, a communication was sent to Quarter 
master-General Meigs giving an estimate of the saving to be effect 
ed by the plan of transportation adopted by the Military Railroad 
Department in the substitution of barges for steamboats at the 
price then paid, which saving was at the rate of $1,352,000 per 
annum, between Alexandria and Acquia Creek. 


On December 2, an officer sent to inquire into the condition of 
the Army Corps as regards supplies, reported to General Burnside 
that all the Corps were supplied liberally, and one of them had 
rations for seventeen days in advance. 

Telegram to General Burnside : 

December 5, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

General Ingalls telegraphs this morning in regard to railroad iron, 
and says it is your wish to have some afloat to be taken up the Rappa- 

Is this the best practical arrangement ? If rails are taken by water 
to Fredericksburg, they cannot be loaded and transported on the rail 
road without cars and engines, and cars and engines cannot be procured 
until the bridge is finished. If we wait for the bridge, we can send the 
iron ready loaded to where we may wish to use it, without a tranship 
ment at Fredericksburg, which would be very troublesome. If the idea 
is to haul by wagons from Fredericksburg, in case the track is torn up 
near that place, it will be almost as convenient to haul from Falmouth 
over the wagon bridge, which must necessarily be built in the event of 
our getting possession of the city. In any event, I do not perceive 
that the sending of rails by water to Fredericksburg is necessary, but it 
shall be done if you desire it. 

My latest information is that the rebels were still running trains 
to Fredericksburg; if so, the track is not yet torn up, and if you turn 
their position, the retreat of the enemy will probably be too precipitate 
to permit them to do much damage. 

Although we have probably iron enough, I will order ten miles 
more immediately to make sure. Please show this telegram to General 
Ingalls to avoid the necessity of repeating it to him. 


WASHINGTON, December 19, 1862. 
To Agents and other Employes of the United States Military Railroad 

Department : 

Complaints have been made that employes of the United States 
Military Railroads do not treat officers with respect; that they are un 
civil, offensive in their language, and unaccommodating. 

While I appreciate the difficult position in which officers of the 
Military Railroad Department are placed during a period of active 
operations, their incessant labors night and day, and the innumerable 
sources of difficulty and annoyance from which ordinary railroads are 
exempt, I wish it distinctly to be understood, that no profanity, incivil 
ity, or indisposition to accommodate will be permitted; but if com 
plaints are made by officers, which, on investigation, shall be proven to be 
well founded, the offender will be removed as soon as a properly quali 
fied substitute can be found to perform his duties. 

While conscious of no disposition to shield the employes or agents 
of the Military Railroads from any censure or punishment that is really 
merited, justice to them requires me to state that, so far, examination 
has shown that complaints against them have been generally without 
proper f oimdation ; and when demands were not promptly complied with, 
the cause has been inability, arising from want of proper notice, and 
not indisposition. 


Officers at posts entrusted with the performance of certain local 
duties, and anxious, as they generally are, to discharge them efficiently, 
are not always able, or disposed, to look beyond their own particular 
spheres ; they expect demands on railway agents to be promptly complied 
with, without considering that similar demands at the same time, in 
addition to the regular train service and routine duties, may come from 
Quartermasters, Commissaries, Medical Directors, Surgeons, Ordnance 
Officers, the Commanding General, the War Department, and from other 
sources. The Military Railroads have utterly failed to furnish trans 
portation to even one-fifth of their capacity, when managed without a 
strict conformity to schedule and established rules. Punctuality and 
discipline are even more important to the operation of a railroad, than 
to the movements of an army, and they are vital in both. 

If all cars, on their arrival at a depot, are immediately loaded or 
unloaded and returned, and trains are run to schedule, a single track 
road, in good order and properly equipped, may supply an army of 200,- 
000 men, when, if these conditions are not complied with, the same road 
will not supply 30,000. 

Let it be understood that requisitions for cars should always be 
made with sufficient notice through the Quartermaster, and to the Su 
perintendent or his representatives, the agents at stations. In time of 
action, it is sometimes necessary to suspend the use of the road for 
supply trains, and hold it for the exclusive use of ammunition. Orders 
to this effect must come from the Chief Quartermaster of the Army, or 
the Commanding General, to the Superintendent; no other orders will 
be respected by him which conflict with the regular operation of the road. 

Attention is directed to the following extracts from orders of 
Major-General Halleck, addressed to myself: 

"No military officer will give any orders to your subordinates except 
through you, nor will any of them attempt to interfere with the running 
of the trains. 

"In case of an attack upon the road, you will consult the com 
mander of the nearest forces. 

"The railroad is entirely under your control. No military officer 
has any right to interfere with it. Your orders are supreme." 

While no officer has any right to interfere with or interrupt the 
regular business of the road, by detaining trains or otherwise, employes 
will be expected to comply with every reasonable request of officers, when 
not incompatible with prescribed duty, and answer questions with civ 

To avoid unnecessary interruption to answer questions in regard to 
the time of starting trains, a clock should be conspicuously placed at 
each station, and several notices posted giving the necessary information. 

The aides of the Commanding General and the train dispatcher 
can be admitted to the telegraph offices; all others must be excluded. 
As messages are read by sound, no loud conversation can be permitted. 
Officers and soldiers crowding into telegraph offices have been a source 
of serious annoyance. In all such cases, operators will seek the protec 
tion of the Provost Marshal and ask for a guard. 



Chief of Construction and Transportation, 
United States Military Railroads. 


A few days before the battle of Fredericksburg a gentleman 
called at my office and announced his name as Rev. Alexander 
Reed, General Agent of the Christian Commission. He stated 
that some carloads of hospital supplies had been sent to the front, 
and that it was a matter of the greatest importance that he should 
attend to the distribution, or all would be lost ; that he had applied 
for a pass to the President, the Secretary of War, to General Hal- 
leek and to the Military Governor of Washington, but he had been 
refused, as all passes had been prohibited, and no exception would 
be made, however urgent the necessity. He wished to know if I 
could not give him a pass. 

I asked him how he expected to get a pass from me when my 
superiors had positively refused him. He did not know, but hoped 
that some way could be discovered, as the stores were very valuable, 
and if lost, the Christian Commission would be discouraged from 
future efforts. I appreciated the situation, and turning to my 
desk wrote a few lines : 

"Alexander Reed is hereby appointed brakeman in the service of 
the Military Railroad Department, and will enter upon his duties forth 
with. He is directed to report without delay at Falmouth. He will be 
furnished transportation by boat and rail, and this order will be recog 
nized as a pass by all guards." 

I handed the note to the reverend gentleman, who seemed 
puzzled, and asked what it meant, saying that he did not under 
stand the duties of brakeman. I replied: "It means that in 
no other capacity can I send you to the front. When you get to 
Falmouth, if you do not like the service you can resign." 

Some years after the war I attended evening service at the 
First Presbyterian Church at Pittsburg. The pastor, Rev. Will 
iam Paxton, D.D., was .an old acquaintance. The pulpit was filled 
that evening by Rev. Alexander Reed. After service I remained 
to have some conversation with the pastor, who introduced his 
friend, Dr. Reed. 

I remarked that I had met the gentleman before. Dr. Reed 
looked at me with some surprise and said that he was not aware 
that he had ever had the pleasure of meeting me previously. 

I replied: "Perhaps you are ashamed to acknowledge that 
you once held the position of brakeman on a Military Railroad." 
This recalled the incident, which was related, much to the amuse 
ment of my friend. 

This recalls another incident, which illustrates the annoy 
ances caused by ladies who would sometimes get passes to meet 
their husbands before an expected engagement. During McDow 
ell s forced march to Front Royal, I had ordered several trains of 


supplies, expected to arrive during the night at Rectortown, to 
move forward four miles to Piedmont by daylight. I was waiting 
at Piedmont for them, but as they did not arrive, I walked towards 
Rectortown to meet them. I did not find them until that station 
was reached, where they were still standing on the track. 

I asked the conductor why he had not obeyed orders, and was 
told that the wife of a prominent officer had been a passenger on 
the train and had gone to a farmhouse to seek accommodations for 
the night. I ordered him to start at once, but just then an elegant 
ly dressed lady came tripping across the field to take her place in 
one of the cars. I did not display extra gallantry on the occasion, 
nor even offer the lady assistance. She had detained four trains 
for three hours during a period of urgency, and I was not in an 
amiable mood. 



O^T December 11, I received a telegram at Washington from 
General J. G. Parke, Chief of Staff: "Our troops now 
occupy Fredericksburg. The bridge material can now be forward 
ed as rapidly as possible." I sent the following at once : 

WASHINGTON, December 11, 1862. 
W. W. Wright, Acquia Greek: 

I leave here to-morrow morning for Acquia Creek. Make all pos 
sible preparations for the immediate construction of the bridge on the 
Rappahannock. TT TTATJPT 

Wright was also instructed to load the cars and send them up 
that night and have E. C. Smeed in readiness to commence the 
bridge at daylight. 

I reached Falmouth on the 12th, and secured from General 
/ Burnside a detail of 200 men to assist in building the railroad 
bridge across the Rappahannock on the morning of December 13, 
but as soon as the fight commenced the soldiers all deserted and 
went to a neighboring hill overlooking the city, from which they 
could make observations. 

Leaving Smeed and his civilians at work, I repaired to the 
Headquarters of General Burnside to report the situation and ask 
for more men to replace the deserters, but he replied that no more 
could be spared. 

I then returned to the bridge and found it deserted. ~Not a 
human being was in sight in that vicinity. 

I walked out to the end of the bridge, but could see no one. I 
returned to the cut at the end of the embankment, where I found 
my foreman behind a tree watching the fight across the river. 

He explained that the ropes had been cut and the pulleys 
broken by the shells and that, as no work could be done, he and his 
men had followed the example of the soldiers, and skedaddled to 
the woods. 

I told him it was all right; that civilians should not be ex 
pected to work under fire when nothing could be accomplished by 
it, andI then returned to Burnside s Headquarters, where I re- 



mained in the room with him all day, looking from a window over 
the battlefield and listening to reports as they came in. 

The next day I returned to Washington, where I met Hon. 
John Covode, of Pennsylvania, and he went with me to see the 
President at about 9 P. M. The President was much interested in 
the report, and asked me to walk with him to General Halleck 7 s 
quarters, then on I street, between 15th and 16th streets. When 
we arrived he requested Covode and others present to step into the 
next room, as he desired a private conference, and then asked me 
to repeat the substance of my report to him, which I did. 

On its conclusion, the President asked General Halleck to 
telegraph orders to General Burnside to withdraw his army to the 
north side of the river. General Halleck rose and paced the room 
for some time, and then stopped, facing the President, and said de 
cidedly : "I will do no such thing. If we were personally present 
and knew the exact situation, we might assume such responsibility. 
If such orders are issued, you must issue them yourself. I hold 
that a General in command of an army in the field is the best judge 
of existing conditions." 

The President made no reply, but seemed much troubled. I 
then remarked that I did not consider the situation as critical as 
the President imagined it to be, and proceeded to describe more in 
detail the topographical configuration. There was a low flat, or 
plateau, near the river on which our troops were massed. Above 
this was a second more extensive plateau, on which the city was 
built, which completely masked the position of our army. Beyond 
this the ground rose gradually to Marye s Heights, where the 
enemy s batteries were posted. Our bridges could not be enfiladed 
by the batteries, and no attempt could be made to fire upon our 
troops without destroying the town, filled as it was with citizens, 
which the enemy would not attempt to do. I expressed a confident 
opinion that Burnside would withdraw his forces during the night, 
and that he could do it without loss or interference, and he did. 

When I finished, the President sighed and said : "What you 
say gives me a great many grains of comfort." 

The position General Halleck took on this occasion is one 
which, so far as my knowledge extends, he always maintained. He 
has been charged repeatedly with interference. It is an error. He 
would indicate to the commander of an army the objects to be 
accomplished, but would leave him untrammelled as far as details 
were concerned. 

After the interview with the President and General Halleck, 
I made arrangements to return to Burnside s Headquarters. It 
was expected that another forward movement would soon be at 
tempted, and, if successful, that a very rapid advance towards 


Richmond would be made, requiring an expeditious reconstruction 
of the railroad and bridges, if the enemy in their retreat should 
destroy them. I had a profile of the line and knew the dimensions 
of all the bridges, so that I had a clear idea of the work to be ac 
complished. On the 14th the following dispatch was sent to Gen 
eral Burnside : 

WASHINGTON, December 14, 1862. 
Major-General Burnside: 

I am using my best exertions to procure civilians to work on 
wharves and bridges, but they are gathered slowly. 

General Halleck does not much favor my idea of forming a Con 
struction and Transportation Corps of, say 500 civilians, for our work. 
He thinks that the Engineer troops, who have been enlisted and receive 
double pay for this particular duty, should attend to it. 

If one of the Engineer regiments were placed under my orders, as 
a permanent detail, I could get them in time organized, drilled, and 
made efficient for bridge purposes, provided I could pick them and get 
rid of the drones ; but civilians would be preferable. 

If we get possession of the line beyond Fredericksburg, all the 
bridges should be started at once. They should be reconstructed of 
sticks cut in the woods and hauled by oxen. No dependence should be 
placed in the railroad for the transportation of material for them. I 
have ordered 200 oxen with yokes to be in readiness. Colonel Ingalls 
should provide ox chains and wheels, say 30 pairs, and 2,000 men can b* 
employed and should be ready. The Engineer brigades can alone furnish 
this force in time. I leave to return to-night. - 

^Notwithstanding the assurances of General Burnside that the 
regular transportation should not be interfered with, he would fre 
quently telegraph the Superintendent to hold a train for his accom 
modation, and then compel it to wait for several hours until he 
made his appearance. This caused an abandonment of the sched 
ule, and threw all the trains into confusion. 

As a remedy I ordered that an engine, under steam, should be 
kept constantly at Falmouth subject to the General s orders. On 
one occasion a train had become derailed, and the special engine 
had been sent to render assistance. While absent on this service 
and, impatient of delay, General Burnside walked down the road 
to meet it. As it was night, the engineer did not recognize him 
and passed him on the way, then returned, took him up and carried 
him to Acquia Creek. 

Upon entering the office in an irate mood, he demanded of the 
Superintendent why he had disobeyed his orders. Wright handed 
him my telegram, saying : "Here are my instructions," upon read 
ing which the General turned on his heel with the remark : "This 
is a nice condition of things if the General in command of an army 
can be snubbed by a brigadier." The General knew that the action 
was proper, and did not allude to it in any of our subsequent inter 


On receiving the report of the Superintendent concerning this 
incident, the following answer was returned : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 24, 1863. 
Wm. W. Wright, Superintendent R., F. & P. R. R. 

DEAR SIR: Your communication of yesterday, enclosing fourteen 
telegrams on the subject of the delay of a special train ordered for the 
accommodation of General Burnside, was received by messenger to-day. 
You report the fact that when a special train is required at a particular 
hour, the party is not always, and not even generally, ready to use it at 
that hour ; that in the case referred to the train was ordered at 9 :30 p. M., 
and the General did not arrive until 11:10 P. M. at the Falmouth depot; 
that an accident having occurred which blocked the road at Stoneman s, 
the engine of the special train was sent to clear it, and being away when 
General Burnside arrived, was the cause of much dissatisfaction. 

You ask for instructions to govern your action in future cases that 
may occur, and desire to be informed whether the track is to be kept 
clear for a special train and all other business suspended until it has 

I answer unhesitatingly, no. The regular and most important 
duty of the railroads is to forward supplies to the army. To accomplish 
this, the most indispensable requisite is exact punctuality in running 
schedule trains. Every Superintendent knows this, but no one but the 
Superintendent of a Military Railroad can appreciate it to its full ex 
tent, or realize the difficulties which do not exist elsewhere. 

General Burnside is one of the most reasonable and practical 
men I have ever met, and he will not expect impossibilities. He does 
not, with the multiplicity of his own duties, understand yours. All you 
have to do is to conform to the established rules, furnish extras when 
ever General Burnside orders them, if it is in your power to do so, but 
extras must keep out of the way of schedule trains, unless the Command 
ing General expressly orders all other business which conflicts with the 
special to be stopped. If this is done, obey the order and straighten out 
the confusion which will ensue as soon as you can. The responsibility 
of failure elsewhere in consequence of it will not rest with you; you will 
have your record straight. 

Your action, as exhibited by the communication forwarded and 
accompanying telegrams, is approved. 

Yours respectfully, H. HAUPT, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation. 

The forward movement of the Army of the Potomac under 
General Burnside was not made. Nothing more of importance 
occurred in connection with Military Railroad operations while he 
continued in command. The army had been at all times well sup 
plied, and the plan of transferring loaded cars from Alexandria to 
Acquia Creek by water had been a great success. It required but 
about an hour to transfer trains of cars from the track to floats, and 
the same from floats to track, and no accident ever occurred in the 

The time for towage between landings was about six hours. 
To have transported the contents of a train from the Alexandria 


Railroad to Falmouth would have required nearly 200 wagons 
from four to six days, dependent upon the condition of the roads, 
and the saving in expense as compared with water transportation 
by means of transports was nearly $3,000 per day on the supplies 

The plans of General Burnside did not meet the cordial ap 
proval of the President and General Halleck, and their assent was 
given with reluctance. In the letter of the President to General 
McClellan, of October 13, 1862, a copy of which was sent to Gen 
eral Burnside with request for careful consideration preparatory 
to the visit of Generals Halleck, Meigs and myself, on November 
12, the program that was considered most satisfactory was clearly 

It was stated that the army could march on interior lines cov 
ering Washington and the line of communication, while the enemy 
must take a more circuitous and longer route to reach either 
Fredericksburg or Eichmond ; that, of the several routes presented, 
he was recommended to take that which was nearest to the enemy, 
so as to operate on his communications, keep fully advised of his 
movements, and strike whenever opportunity offered. 

This plan, if followed, would have taken the army to Freder 
icksburg on the south side of the Rappahannock instead of to Fal 
mouth on the north side, and, with a few bridges, the communica 
tion with Acquia Creek would have been the same. 

Had the movement been made, Lee could not have occupied 
Fredericksburg, and the battle would have been fought at some 
point between Fredericksburg and Richmond. 

What General Burnside s reasons were for departing from 
this plan of operation, I never knew. Perhaps he thought it safer 
to move with the river between his forces and those of the enemy ; 
but even then, if he had moved quickly and occupied Fredericks 
burg before Lee, the reverses at that point would not have been ex 

The assault upon Marye s Heights in the center was a mis 
take, and inexcusable on the supposition that General Burnside 
had any idea of the strength of the position. 

I had an opportunity of examining the ground afterwards, 
and never saw a stronger natural position. It was almost as im 
pregnable as a permanent fortification on the most approved plans 
of Vaubon. A road ran in front of Marye s house, parallel to the 
river. On the river side was a stone wall, the top of which was 
level with the ground in front of it, which sloped gently towards 
the town and river like the glacis of a permanent fortification. 
Immediately in rear were high hills, with projecting salients 


like bastions, on which batteries were placed commanding the 
whole plain in front, with cross fire in all directions. The road 
was filled with rebel troops perfectly protected; they could stoop 
to load, then rise and fire without exposure. An assaulting column 
had no chance. It was as hopeless as the Balaklava charge in the 

From the window in Burnside s room I could, with a field 
glass, see our columns move to the attack, then the smoke of battle 
would obscure everything. When it cleared away, our forces were 
found driven back and the ground strewn with dead and wounded. 



THE following characteristic letter from the President to Gen 
eral Joseph Hooker was sent on the day upon which he was 
placed in command to succeed General Burnside : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 26, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker. 

GENERAL: I have placed you at the head of the Army of the 
Potomac. Of course, I have done this upon what appears to me to be 
sufficient reasons, and yet I think it best for you to know that there are 
some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you. I be 
lieve you to be a brave and skilful soldier, which, of course, I like. I 
also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you 
are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable, if not 
an indispensable quality. You are ambitious, which, with reasonable 
bounds, does good rather than harm; but I think that during General 
Burnside s command of the army you have taken counsel of your ambi 
tion and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great 
wrong to the country and to a most meritorious and honorable brother 

I have heard in such a way as I believe it, of your recently saying 
that both the army and the Government needed a dictator. Of course, 
it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. 
Only those Generals who gain success can set up dictators. What I now 
ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. 

The Government will support you to the extent of its ability, which 
is neither more nor less than it has done and will do to all commanders. 

I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into- 
the army, of criticising their commanders and withholding confidence 
from them, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you, as far as I can, 
to put it down. Neither you, nor Napoleon, if he was alive again, could 
get any good out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And 
now beware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with energy and sleep 
less vigilance go forward and give us victories. 

Yours very truly, A. LINCOLN. 

On his assuming command of the army, I addressed the fol 
lowing letter to General Hooker : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 27, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker, Commander of the Army of Potomac. 

GENERAL: Allow me to offer my sincere congratulations on your 
elevation to the command of the Army of the Potomac, and to express 



the hope that your administration of affairs will secure for our arms the 
success to which the justice of the cause entitles them. 

It will be my effort, so far as the Department of Military Railroads 
is concerned, to cooperate efficiently in your movements, and I am well 
aware that the success or failure of a movement is often a question of 
prompt supply. 

In assuming the duties of Commander-in-Chief, it is proper that 
you should know the conditions essential to the efficient operation of the 
Military Railroads. 

The difficulties connected with the operation of Military Railroads 
are innumerable; yet with the cordial support which I have always re 
ceived from General Halleck and from McDowell, McClellan, Pope and 
Burnside, the army, since my connection with it, I believe, never suffered 
from a deficiency of any supplies dependent upon the transportation 
which they could furnish. 

To insure regularity in supplies, regularity in running trains and 
prompt loading and unloading of cars are indispensable. As far as prac 
ticable, all business should be done by regular schedule trains, and no 
regular schedule train should, from any cause, be detained a minute, un 
less from accident. The Superintendent has orders to furnish an extra to 
the Commanding General whenever it is in his power to do so, but extras 
must keep out of the way of schedule trains, and extras should only be 
called for when an urgent necessity requires them. 

The existing organization and arrangements work very satisfac 
torily. J. H. Devereux is Superintendent of the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad; William W. Wright, Superintendent of the Fredericksburg 
Railroad ; Adna Anderson, engineer of construction on both roads. I have 
directed Mr. Anderson, who is a very efficient and experienced civil engi 
neer, to report to you and keep you advised of his whereabouts, so that, 
in the event of any movement, you can communicate with him. Colonel 
McCallum attends to the routine and red-tape business of the Depart 

For myself, I am generally present when active operations are in 
progress, organizing and directing where my presence seems essential. 

I may be absent for some weeks during the present session of the 
Massachusetts Legislature, but my arrangements are such that nothing 
will suffer in my absence. In everything pertaining to railroad trans 
portation consult with or direct Mr. Wright, and in all that pertains to 
construction, Mr. Anderson. 

Assured that in all my efforts to continue or increase the efficiency 
of the Railway Department I will receive your cordial cooperation, I re 
main, Yours very respectfully, 

Chief of Construction and Transportation. 

The long interval from January 26, 1863, when General 
Hooker took command, until May, 1863, was a period of compar 
ative inactivity in military operations. The Army of the Potomac v 
was encamped on the north side of the Rappahannock opposite 
Fredericksburg, and supplies were forwarded by river and rail 
via Acquia Creek. We were not troubled by guerrilla raids or mil 
itary interference. The trains were run with regularity by sched 
ule, and the telegraph was left for the almost exclusive use of the 
military authorities. 


The Construction Corps, during this period, was not idle, 
/ but performed services of great value in perfecting organization, 
procuring material, and preparing for rapid advance movements 
whenever they should be ordered. 

A large number of bridge trusses were prepared in spans of 
60 feet to be transported on flat cars, hauled by oxen to the sites 
of the bridges, and hoisted bodily into position by suitable portable 
machinery. These trusses were cal]ed "shadbellies" by the work 
men from their peculiar shape. 

A plan was also designed for a military truss bridge, the parts 
of which were interchangeable, and which could be put together 
without previous fitting, and with so much rapidity that, as my 
foreman, E. C. Smeed, expressed it, he could put the bridge to 
gether about as fast as a dog could trot. 

Torpedoes were also prepared for blowing down bridges in 
operating on the communications of the enemy. These torpedoes 
consisted simply of an iron bolt with a head and washer of such 
diameter that they could be driven easily into a two-inch auger- 
hole. Between the head and the washer was a tin case 8 inches 
long, open at both ends, filled with powder. Experiments were 
made in blowing up trunks of trees which proved their efficiency, 
and by means of them any ordinary wooden bridge could be thrown 
down in five minutes. 

Other experiments were made on old sidings near Alexandria 
to determine the best mode of rapidly destroying tracks. The 
usual mode adopted by the enemy had been to tear up the rails, 
pile the cross ties, place the rails upon them, set the pile on 
fire, and bend the rails when heated. I found this mode en 
tirely too slow, as several hours were required to heat the rails 
sufficiently and, when bent, we could generally straighten them for 
use in a few minutes, in fact, in less than one-tenth of the time 
required to heat and bend them. 

We had been experimenting for some time with no results 
that I considered satisfactory, when one day Smeed came into my 
office with a couple of U-shaped irons in his hands (see illustration 
on page 111) and exclaimed: "I ve got it!" "Got what?" I 
asked. "Got the thing that will tear up track as quickly as you 
can say Jack Robinson/ and spoil the rails so that nothing but 
a rolling mill can ever repair them." 

"That is just what I want," was my reply; "but how are 
you to do it with that pair of horseshoes ?" 

He explained his plan. The irons were turned up and over 
at the ends so as firmly to embrace the base of the rail. Into the 
icavity of the U a stout lever of wood was to be inserted. A 
rope at the end of the lever would allow half a dozen men to pull 


upon it and twist the rail. When the lever was pulled down to 
the ground and held there, another iron was to be placed beside it, 
and another twist given, then the first iron removed and the process 
repeated four or five times until a corkscrew twist was given to the 
rail. After hearing the explanation, I said : "I think it will do ; 
let us go at once and try it." Smeed s plan was found to answer 
perfectly, and the problem of the simplest and quickest mode 
of destroying track was satisfactorily solved. 

The photographic department in connection with the opera 
tions of the Construction Corps was of great value. All the 
more important operations in connection with the construction of 
bridges, the expedients for rapidly crossing streams, the de 
struction of track, etc.. were photographed and with printed ex 
planations were sent to heads of departments and to Corps com 
manders wherever our armies were in the field. Many hundreds 
of torpedoes and instruments for destroying track were ordered 
and prepared at the Alexandria shops, but we had more work 
to do to protect and restore our own communications than in oper 
ating on those of the enemy. 

General Burnside told me that he once paid $3,000 to have 
a bridge destroyed, and that the work had not been done effect 
ually. A couple of the bridge torpedoes would have saved that 

On February Y, 1863, I sent a letter to General Hooker 
with explanation of a system of ferriage by means of blanket boats, \ 
accompanied by a diagram showing mode of operation. These 
boats are fairly illustrated by the photographs reproduced in this 



DURING the late winter and spring lull I spent some time 
in Massachusetts attending to private affairs. 

On March 20, at Cambridge, I received a message from the 
Secretary of War stating that he wished to see me at my earliest 
convenience. I returned to Washington, and on the 24th called 
upon the Secretary, who wished to know the condition of the rail 
roads used for Government transportation in the West and South 

I replied that I knew nothing about them, although nominally 
in charge of the Military Railroads of the United States. 

He remarked that he had reason to believe that these roads 
were used for the benefit of Jew peddlers, speculators, contractors 
and sutlers; in fact, for anything and everything except the 
legitimate business of Government transportation, and directed 
me to go at once and straighten things out. 

I answered : "I will do so cheerfully if I have the requisite 
authority, but I must go to Headquarters, see General Hooker 
and leave things in proper shape in case his forward movement 
should be made before my return." 

On returning to my office, I drew up a form of orders defining 
the duties to be performed and giving the necessary authority. 

The Secretary read the paper, and remarked that I had made 
it pretty strong. I replied that it was necessary; there was no use 
in going without full authority to act. He then said: "Leave 
it with me ; I will think it over for a day or two." 

I then went to Falmouth to see General Hooker, and in 
formed him that the Secretary of War proposed to send me to 
the West to straighten out the Military Railroads. The Gen 
eral was decidedly opposed to any such movement ; said that when 
he made his advance my personal presence was indispensable ; he 
would move rapidly and trust to me to reconstruct the railroads 
and bridges and keep his army in supplies, and my absence 
would possibly render his campaign a failure. 

On my return to Washington, the Secretary said that General 
Hooker had telegraphed that it would not do for me to leave, 



and that some other plan must be adopted. Then the following 
order was issued : 

WASHINGTON CITY, March 25, 1863. 

Ordered: That Brigadier-General H. Haupt, Superintendent of 
Railroads, cause an inspection to be made of the condition of the rail 
road transportation service where the armies of the United States are 
operating in the Western States, and make a report to this Department 
upon all points relating thereto, material to the service, with such recom 
mendations as may be necessary to promote the efficiency and economy 
of the transporting service. He may designate to this Department, for 
approval, the names of the persons to whom he proposes to commit this 


Secretary of War. 

In compliance with these instructions, I appointed F. H. 
Forbes, of Massachusetts, a gentleman whose long training as a 
newspaper reporter admirably fitted him to act as a detective 
and find out things, and I knew that his personal relations to 
me were such that I could depend upon him. 

I wrote out full detailed instructions for the Special Agent, 
had them approved by the Secretary of War, and orders given to 
all officers to furnish any information called for. 

An order was also issued by Quartermaster-General M. C. 
Meigs, as follows : 

WASHINGTON CITY, April 23, 1863. 

Officers and agents of the Quartermaster s Department will furnish 
information called for by F. H. Forbes, Special Agent in the Department 
of United States Military Railroads, under the instructions of Briga 
dier-General Haupt of 21st April, 1863, approved by the Secretary of 

Necessary transportation will be furnished to enable Mr. Forbes 
to visit the several roads in charge of the War Department, and every 
facility will be afforded to him for accomplishing the object of his mis 
sion a general inspection of the Military Railroads. 

Quartermaster General. 

Reports were made by the Special Agent, as directed, at short 
intervals. These reports indicated the existence of as widespread 
corruption as the Secretary had intimated. Steamboats were de 
tained at landings under pretense that they were required for I/ 
Government use, and then released upon payment of a liberal 
sum of money. Property was sold and the proceeds appropriated 
by the sutlers; forage and hardtack were exposed to the weather 
without protection, and, when condemned, new supplies ordered 
for the benefit of contractors. 

Some large game was hit in these reports, and I had letters 
of remonstrance from parties who wished me to suppress the 


reports. I replied that the reports must go to the Secretary of 
War, but if they wished to make any denials or explanations I 
would forward them. Some weeks thereafter the Secretary took 
a trip West, and on his return removed the Special Agent and 
sent him home. I never heard in what manner the abuses were 

Tt was a frequent remark of Confederates that our army 
wasted more than their army consumed, and there appeared to be 
some reason for the assertion. 

On one occasion two contractors were captured by General 
Stuart. Upon interrogating them he learned that they had made 
and delivered a large number of wagons for the Government. He 
offered to release them if they would pledge their honor to do 
honest work, saying that the United States Government con 
tractors were relied upon to supply the Confederate army, but that 
most of the wagons were so badly constructed that they were con 
stantly breaking down and making trouble. 

The exposed condition of the depot grounds at Alexandria 
induced me to ask and obtain permission from General Halleck 
to construct a substantial stockade, enclosing sixteen squares. 

A raid by two or three hundred cavalry could have made 
an attack at night and destroyed the buildings, shops, cars, engines 
and stores, and retired without damage to themselves. 

The forts were so distant that before notice could be given 
and a force collected the damage could be done, and the eucmy 

Our men took much pride in building this stockade as a model 
to show the engineer troops, as they said, how such work should 
be done. Straight trees were selected, nicely pointed on top, set 
three or four feet in the ground, with loop-holes provided at short 
intervals. In the middle of the sides and at the corners were 
projecting bastions, so as to afford a flanking fire along the sides ; 
and at the south end, commanding the road by which the enemy 
would approach, were placed pieces of artillery. The men were 
provided with repeating rifles, and so divided and organized as 
to be capable of very efficient defense. 

These arrangements did not appear satisfactory to the Gov 
ernment engineers, who made complaint to the Secretary of War 
that General Haupt had constructed a line of interior defenses 
that was an interference with their general plans for the defense 
of the capital. (See illustration, page 299.) 

When this complaint reached me through the circumlocu 
tion office with a number of indorsements, I added one more in 
dorsement to the effect that I was not able to comprehend how 
the construction of a fence around the depot-grounds of Alex- 



andria could interfere with the defenses of Washington, ^"o ac 
tion was taken by the Secretary of War. 

As the time was approaching for the resumption of active 
operations, I gave directions to Chief Engineer Anderson to have 
everything in readiness for rapid reconstruction of roads and 

"One day I received a telegram from General Hooker, who 
wished to see me immediately. I started at once in a little 
steamer, reached Acquia at daylight, breakfasted with Wright and 
then ran to Ealmouth on an engine, reporting to General Hooker 
as he was going to breakfast. He asked me to accompany him, 
which I declined, as I had already taken my morning meal. 

He then handed me a paper to read over, saying that it con 
tained his plan of operations, but I must not on any consideration 
open my lips to any living soul ; that even the members of his staff 
did not know what his plans were, and would not know until the 
time arrived for putting them in execution; he had left them 
under the impression that a very different movement was contem 
plated. He added that when he did move he expected to ad 
vance very rapidly, and as he would depend upon me for his sup 
plies I had a very important duty to perform; that upon its 
performance success or failure might depend, and he had con 
cluded to advise me fully so that I might make the necessary prep 

When the General returned from breakfast I had read the 
papers, and told him we would be ready. ^ 

After leaving General Hooker I determined at once to build 
a new bridge across the Potomac run. One of the Corps com 
manders had, very unwisely, as I thought, cut down all the timber 
in the valley above the bridge, which, in case of a freshet, would 
be carried against the bridge and sweep away the trestle-work. 
I therefore gave orders to E. C. Smeed to proceed at once to erect 
a new military truss-bridge in spans of 120 feet resting on the 
stone piers, and remove the old bridge. 

As soon as the work was commenced I was summoned again 
by General Hooker, who wished to see me immediately. 

I reported at Headquarters, when he said rather excitedly: 
""I understand you are going to take down that large bridge at 
Potomac Creek and build another." 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well ! I cannot permit it. I am now loading my wagons, 
and cannot allow any interruption to the trains." 

I rejoined: "I do not propose to interrupt the trains." 

"Why, how can you take down that bridge and build another 
without stopping transportation for some days at least ?" 


I said: "General, it is your place to indicate to me what 
you wish to have done, and mine to carry out your wishes in such 
manner as will best secure the results desired. If you wish a 
detailed explanation, I will make it ; but I say to you noAV that the 
bridge will, before you are ready to move, be replaced by a more 
safe and substantial structure, and not a single train will be 
detained for a single hour." 

"Well !" replied the General, "if you say so, go ahead ; but 
I don t see how you can do it." His chief of staff, General Butter- 
field, echoed : "And I don t see how you can do it. either." 

The new bridge was erected and was in use for some weeks 
before the forward movement commenced, and no train was de 
layed during its construction. I cannot find the report of the 
time required in its erection, but my impression is that it did not 
exceed three or four days. 

On April 11, 1863, General Hooker informed the President 
that he proposed to turn the enemy s position to his (Hooker s) 
right, and sever his connections with Richmond by a dragoon 

On May 1, 1862, General Eutterfield telegraphed to Hooker: 
"Sedgwick s troops are now advancing. Haupt is ready to spring 
with the bridge." 

Lowe reports, from balloon observations, "Long trains of 
enemy s wagons moving to the right." 

On May 2, Sedgwick was directed to cross the river as soon 
as indications would permit, capture Predericksburg, and pursue 
the enemy. 

On May 3, Hooker engaged the enemy at Chancellors ville 
and was wounded. 

Butterfield telegraphed to Hooker regrets that he is wounded, 
also, "Haupt is at Pal mouth with his force ready to spring with 
the railroad bridge when ordered. Affairs seem to justify it now 

On May 3, 12:30 p. M., Sedgwick had carried the heights; 
5 p. M., Sedgwick s advance was three and one-half miles from 
Frederieksburg, near Guest s house. 

On the morning of the 4th, while waiting for orders to com 
mence the bridge, I walked over the battle-ground, and examined 
the heights beyond Marye s house. I then realized the great 
strength of the position and the impossibility of taking it, if prop 
erly defended, by a direct assault in front, as had been attempted 
by Burnside with disastrous results. My photographic artist, 
Captain Russell, was with me and secured several large photo 
graphic negatives one very good one of the stone wall, with the 


rebel dead lying behind it. The position seemed to have been 
taken by a flank movement. (See illustration, page 307.) 

During the afternoon of the 4th the enemy, 15,000 strong, 
re-entered the earthworks south of Fredericksburg, Gibbon still 
holding the city. 

About the same time, in ignorance of the fact that the enemy 
had resumed possession of the heights, I walked out with Superin 
tendent Wright to examine a pile of lumber some distance beyond 
the depot, to see if it could be utilized in building the bridge. A 
short distance beyond was a fence and ditch, lined with trees, 
behind which some riflemen were firing at short intervals, but I 
could not imagine what they were firing at, as I supposed they were 
our own men, and I could see no enemy beyond. On returning 
leisurely to the depot, looking at the dead bodies along the track 
and wondering why they had not been buried, I asked one of the 
soldiers, sheltered behind a building, what those men were firing 

"Popping at us when we shows ourselves. Them s the rebs." 

Wright and I had walked into a trap without knowing it, but 
the apparent boldness of the move no doubt saved us. As we were 
not in uniform it was probably supposed that none but loyal citi 
zens of Eredericksburg would approach so near the Confederate 

On the morning of May 5 the President was notified that 
Hooker considered it expedient to retire across the river, so that I 
was not called upon to build the bridge, and all my extensive prep 
arations for a forward movement were rendered useless. 

On the evening of May 4 I was notified from Hooker s Head 
quarters not to send any more supplies until further orders and to 
ask protection at Acquia in case of necessity, "though we trust to 
fight it out in excellent style yet." 

May 4 I received a communication from the depot Quarter 
master at Acquia, notifying me that the first-class steamer John 
Brooks had been specially assigned to the use of the Railroad and 
Construction Department for the purpose of removing em 
ployes, etc. 

I was much surprised at this courtesy, as I had just indulged 
in a little amusement at that" officer s expense. Like many others 
who had been appointed from civil life, he seemed to have a high 
idea of the importance of his position and was inclined to make 
others recognize it by issuing orders. He had made complaint 
to the Department at Washington that, although he had issued 
orders that all steamers landing at Acquia should come to his office 
to report, yet in defiance of such orders and in violation of the 
courtesv due to his position, the steamers detailed in the service of 


the Military Railroad Department had neglected or refused to 
obey such orders. 

In reply I stated that I had not seen the orders referred to ; 
that no want of courtesy to the distinguished representative of the 
Quartermaster s Department was intended; that without raising 
any question as to his rights, or my duties, I would cheerfully 
teoinply with any reasonable and proper regulations; but that, 
inasmuch as we had no marine railway or other equivalent facili 
ties ; as the office was at a considerable distance from the landing, 
and steamboats were not furnished with organs of speech, I could 
not comprehend how it was possible for said steamers to go to the 
office to report. The captains might do it, and if it was the wish 
of the Quartermaster, I would ;ive orders accordingly. 

As there was considerable merriment at the gentleman s 
expense, I was not prepared to expect so much consideration for 
our safety and comfort as was exhibited in placing one of the 
largest steamers at my disposal. I did not, however, consider that 
there was the slightest danger. The landing, as previously stated, 
was a long distance from the shore, connected by a straight and 
narrow railroad track, on each side of which were marshes im 
passable by horse or foot. There were two gunboats anchored in 
the stream, and the track could easily have been barricaded if any 
attack had been apprehended. The tender of the steamer was re 
spectfully declined, and the Quartermaster requested to use it for 
other more necessary purposes. I remained on shore with all my 
force, and our sleep that night was not disturbed by apprehensions 
of capture. All the rest, officers and men, of the other depart 
ments, took refuge on steamers. 

We retained the position at Acquia Creek without any annoy 
ance from an enemy until June 14, when orders were received 
to abandon the post. 

In three days from the receipt of these orders all the stores 
and other property left by the army, together with all railroad 
property and about ten or twelve thousand sick and wounded men 
V from the hospitals, amounting in all to over 500 car-loads, were 
moved to the landing and safely loaded on vessels. ISTo railroad 
property was left behind or destroyed. Even the window sashes 
were taken from the houses and brought away. 

An equally successful removal of supplies could have been 
effected on the occasion of the former evacuation under Burnside, 
if an opportunity had been given us, but there seemed to be no de 
sire at that time to save property. 


IN" order that the entire Union army might have the benefit dur 
ing the summer and future campaigns of my investigations, I 
submitted the following report on experiments made to determine 
the most expeditious mode of destroying track by portable appara 
tus, with a view to operations against the communications of the 
enemy : 

WASHINGTON, May 16, 1863. 
Major-General H. W. HallecTc, General-in-Chief of the Army of the 

United States. 

GENERAL: The attempts made by the forces of the United States 
to break the communications of the enemy, and destroy his roads and 
bridges, have not been as numerous as the interests of the service would , 
seem to require ; and, when made, they have rarely resulted satisfactorily. 
The communications ineffectually broken have been restored in a few 
hours, and no serious or permanent damage has been inflicted. 

To tear up the track of a railroad is a very difficult operation with 
any implements heretofore known or used which cavalry can carry with 
them in an expedition. The claw and clevis bars, used by track repairers 
for drawing spikes, are very heavy; they could not be carried with an 
expedition, except in wagons, and no portable substitutes have ever yet 
been proposed. 

Even when track is torn up, if the cross-ties are not burned and 
the rails destroyed, the time required to repair is less than is necessary 
to inflict the damage. 

The enemy have been more successful in the destruction of track 
than our own troops, but their success has been the work of time, operat 
ing on their own territory, without fear of interruption. On the Lou- 
doun & Hampshire Railroad the ties were burned, the rails heated and 
bent around trees, forming sometimes complete circles ; rails so damaged 
have never been again used. 

On the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad three miles 
of track were torn up in April, 1862, near Acquia Creek. The rails 
were carried south of the Rappahannock, and the ties burned; yet it re 
quired but three days for the Construction Corps of the Army of the 
Rappahannock to cut new ties and reconstruct the track with new iron 
brought from Alexandria. 

The writer has been engaged during the last week in prosecuting a 
series of experiments, with a view to determine the most expeditious 
and effectual mode of destroying a railway communication by the use 
of means and appliances which fulfill the essentially important condition 
of portability. 

Rails which are simply bent can, with the use of levers and sledges, y 
or, still better, with jack screws, be straightened so as to permit their 
11 197 


use. If the rails are twisted spirally, like a corkscrew or auger, the diffi 
culty of straightening is greatly enhanced, and if bent, in addition to the 
spiral twist, it is not probable that any attempt would ever be made to re 
pair or use them. 

The experiments have been completely successful, and have resulted 
in the construction of apparatus which is simple, portable, and effica 
cious; which tears up track in one-sixth of the time required to construct 
it; twists and bends the rails so as to render them entirely unfit for use, 
and does it all in a cold state, without the delay caused by heating. 

The accompanying series of photographs will illustrate the experi 

The illustrations on pages 111 and 121 represent various small in 
struments for loosening rails. They consist of steel hooks, provided with 
sockets, into which wooden handles are inserted; the handles may be 
pieces of round poles, four feet long and three inches in diameter at 
the larger end. These hooks are designed simply to force back the 
heads of the spikes without extracting them. They perform the work 
very expeditiously; about four spikes in a minute can be bent back, so 
as to unclasp the rail and permit its removal. 

The chair presents the greatest difficulty to the removal of the 
rail ; the spikes which pass through the chairs can neither be forced back 
nor drawn out with implements which are effectual when applied to the 
intermediate spikes. 

After repeated trials, the only portable contrivance which gave 
satisfactory results in the removal of the chair, consisted of two socket 
wedges of iron, with wood inserted in the back. These wedges should be 
2% inches broad ; they are driven under the chair, and between it and the 
tie, by means of axes. The time required to remove a chair from a hard, 
firm tie, if the intermediate spikes have been forced back, is only three 
minutes. As the intermediate spikes can be unclasped in the same time 
by other hands, four men can remove a rail in three minutes, and the im 
plements required for the purpose are two steel hooks, two wedges and 
two axes. 

This mode of removing rails, although far superior to any known 
previous to the commencement of the experiments, is completely eclipsed 
by a simple and portable contrivance, suggested by E. C. Srneed, one of 
the most efficient officers of the Construction Corps. The contrivance 
consists of two pieces of iron, of the form represented in illustration 
on page 111. They are placed under the two ends of the rail, as in 
illustration on page 121; le\ers, 11 or 12 feet long and 4^/2 or 5 inches 
diameter at the larger end, are inserted in the irons, when, by pulling 
on the levers, the whole rail is ripped from its fastening in less than 
half a minute, and the chair is broken. 

These irons weigh about 6 ] /2 pounds ; in using them fence rails will 
answer for levers. They not only furnish the most expeditious mode yet 
devised of tearing up track, but they can be used to twist the rails 
spirally in a cold state. To accomplish this object the levers should be 
applied at one end of the rail, the other end remaining in the chair ; one 
lever having been applied and bent down to the ground, the second should 
be attached and a further twist given as far as the lever can be moved; 
then a fresh hold can be taken with the first, and the operation continued 
until the twist is sufficient. The rail can then be bent by pulling on a 
rope attached to the loose end, and afterwards thrown out by applying 
one of the levers to the end which had remained fastened. 


If the rail is loose, it can be twisted in the manner represented in 
illustration on page 131. Illustration on page 121 shows a short piece 
of T rail that has been twisted cold by the levers, and illustration on 
page 131 a short U rail, which is more difficult to twist than the T 

Experiments were made to determine the time required to destroy 
rails in the manner which has usually been adopted by the enemy, which 
consists in heating arid bending. Two piles of ties were made, one of 
thirty-two ties, across which eight rails were placed, and another of six 
teen ties, with four rails laid thereon. The fire was started by splitting 
two of the ties into kindling wood, and pouring half a gallon of coal oil 
on each of the piles. (See illustration on page 161.) 

Although the ties were not wet, the fires burned so slowly that in 
three hours the rails had not become heated to any considerable extent. 
The piles were then left until the next morning, when they were found 
to be entirely consumed, but the rails were lying on the ground unin 
jured; the weight of the projecting ends had not bent the rails. 

This experiment proves that burning is too slow a process to be 
relied upon for destroying rails, where time is any object; and that in 
any expedition to operate on the communications of an enemy, such 
plans must be adopted as will permit the rails to be destroyed without 

A successful attempt to bend and break rails was made by plac 
ing a rail parallel to, and in contact with, one of the rails of the 
track; three spikes were then driven about three feet from the end to 
serve as a fulcrum; ten men carried the rail around, bending it at the 
place where it is spiked, and finally breaking it at that point. 

A similar experiment is represented in illustration on page 141. 
In this case, instead of the spikes, a chain was passed around the rails 
at about .three feet from the end of the loose rail experimented upon. A 
horse was attached to the other end, who doubled the rail into the shape 
of the letter U without difficulty. 

On the opposite side of the track (see illustration on page 141), 
a joint is shown, raised from the tie by driving wedges under the chair. 

Another plan, which was used successfully for bending and break 
ing rails cold, is represented in illustration on page 151. It consisted 
in boring a hole in a tree, inserting a stout iron pin nearly two inches 
diameter, passing a log chain over the pin, placing the end of the rail 
in a loop of the chain, and pulling on the other end. In this case the 
rail was of the U pattern, short and stiff, and required two horses to 
break it. 

A rail was also bent readily by the plan which follows: A 
hole was bored in a tie, in which was inserted a two-inch pin for a ful 
crum ; the short end of the rail to be bent rested against the end of a rail 
in the track that had not yet been taken up. The horse, hitched to the 
long end of the rail, walked around and doubled it without difficulty. 

The results given by these experiments are all of much practical 
value, and prove that there is no serious difficulty in bending rails with 
out heating them, so as to render them useless. But the most satisfac 
tory results are secured by the U-shaped iron represented in illustra- 

* NOTE. Wiggins and other writers have given the credit of this invention to Col 
onel Poe, of General Sheridan s staff. This is a mistake. E. C. Smeed is entitled to the credit 
of the invention, the knowledge of which was communicated to the commanders of armies 
"by the photograph and accompanying descriptions which were sent to them. 


tion on page 121. With them a rail can be torn from its fastenings in 
?ess than a minute, without previously drawing the spikes; and with 
the same apparatus rails can be twisted and afterwards bent. 

A thousand cavalry marching two abreast, and following each other 
closely, will occup a space of one mile. At least one-half should be re 
served for protection, leaving the other half for work. Suppose the 
working parties to be divided into squads of ten men, and that to each 
squad be assigned the duty of removing and destroying twelve rails, sup 
posed to be each 20 feet long. The number of squads in one mile will 
be 44, requiring 440 men, and leaving 560 for defense out of the thou 
sand. Each squad should be supplied with the following implements: 
2 U-shaped irons ; 2 stout wooden levers, 12 feet long and 4^ inches di 
ameter; 2 pieces of rope, each 6 yards long, to tie to the levers; 2 axes 
and 2 wooden wedges to place between levers and rails. 

The levers can be cut from the woods, or stout fence rails can be 
used; the axes, ropes, and U irons must be carried. The whole weight 
to be carried for a squad of ten men would be but twenty-five pounds; 
one pack-horse or one mule would carry the implements for six or eight 

Five minutes is sufficient time to twist, bend, and remove a rail; 
in one hour the twelve rails, which form the task of a squad, could be 
destroyed. 440 men in the same time (one hour) will destroy a mile. 
2,200 men in the same time can destroy five miles. 5,000 cavalry sent 
on an expedition to break communications, could detail 2,200 men for 
the work, 2,800 for protection, and in one hour could effectually destroy 
five miles of track; they could then ride for two hours and destroy five 
miles more. 

In destroying track it is best to pile and burn the cross ties. Each 
squad will have forty-eight ties to burn. To pile these ties, split two of 
them for kindling, pour over two canteens of coal oil, and set fire to the 
heap, will consume but fifteen minutes. A small detachment may be left 
to prevent residents in the vicinity from extinguishing the fires. 

Heretofore it has been possible to operate effectually against the 
communications of an enemy only where there were important bridges 
that could be destroyed. The plans herein described for destroying 
track will permit communications to be broken wherever they can be 
reached, and in so effectual a manner that repairs will be impossible 
without new material, which, without tearing up some other road, it may 
be impossible for the enemy to procure. 

A cavalry expedition, led by intelligent and dashing officers, pro 
vided with the appliances herein described, and with the bridge torpedoes 
for the destruction of bridges, could traverse the whole South and inflict 
irreparable damage upon the communications of the enemy. If a work 
s ing force of 2,200 men can destroy five miles of track in one hour, and 
two or three men to a span, with the use of the torpedoes, throw down the 
largest bridges in five minutes, the movement of the forces can be too 
rapid to admit of pursuit, except by cavalry, to prevent which the 
numerical strength should be great enough to oppose any possible force 
of cavalry that the enemy can bring against it. Eresh horses should 
be seized, wherever practicable, and abandoned ones shot. 

The telegraph should be cut frequently; but instead of leaving the 
ends loose, the break should be at a pole, and the ends connected by 
small pieces of insulated wire, concealed by the insulators, so that the 
point of break would not be discernible. 


On an expedition of this kind a few men, expert in repairs of track, 
bridges, and telegraph lines, would prove of great value. Still more im 
portant is it that the officers, and at least a portion of the force, say one 
or two men in each squad, should be actually drilled in laying track and 
in tearing it up, and in bending and twisting old and useless rails, if any 
can be found. 

In the hope that the results of these experiments will prove benefi 
cial for the service, they are respectfully submitted by 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 


A FTER the battle of Chancellorsville, General Hooker marched 
l\ towards the line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, which 
once more became a base of supplies, and we were again subjected 
to the usual annoyances inflicted by guerrilla parties, such as 
burning bridges, obstructing track, and firing upon trains. It be 
came necessary to run all trains with 30 to 50 men as a guard. 
On one occasion a bridge was found burning in the middle and at 
both ends, and five men made their escape on horseback when the 
train approached. 

General Hooker to the President, June 10, 1863, refers to 
contemplated raid by Lee into Maryland, and remarks : 

If it should be the intention to send a heavy column of infantry 
to accompany the cavalry on the proposed raid, he can leave nothing be 
hind to interpose any serious obstacle to my rapid advance on Richmond. 
If it should be found to be the case, would it not promote the true inter 
ests of the cause for me to march to Richmond at once? 

If left to operate from my own judgment, with my present informa 
tion, I do not hesitate to say that I should adopt this course as being the 
most speedy and certain mode of giving the rebellion a mortal blow. 

From information which I deem reliable, the only troops remain 
ing in Richmond is the provost guard, 1,500, and all the troops between 
here and there are brought well to the front. 

To this the President replied : 

June 10, 1863, 6:40 P. M. 
Major-General Hooker: 

Your long dispatch of to-day is just received. If left to me I 
would not go south of Rappahannock upon Lee s moving north of it. 
If you had Richmond invested to-day, you would not be able to take it 
in twenty days; while your communications, and with them your army, 
would be ruined. I think Lee s army and not Richmond is your object 
ive point. If he comes toward the upper Potomac, follow in his flank 
and on his inside track, shortening your lines while he lengthens his. 
Fight him, too, when opportunity offer?. If he stays where he is, fret 
him and fret him. 


June 11 General Halleck telegraphs that he fully agrees with 
the President. 



On June 14. 1863, Mr. Lincoln telegraphed to General 
Hooker : 

If the head of Lee s army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on 
the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal 
must be slim somewhere. Could you not break him? 

On June 15, 10:20 A. M., General Hooker s Headquarters 
were at Dumfries. On same day, 6 :30 p. M., he had moved to 
Fairfax Station. At 8 :30 he received a telegram from the Presi 
dent, to which he replied : "It seems to disclose the intention of 
the enemy to make an invasion, and if so, it is not in my power to 
prevent it." 

On June 16 General Hooker had established his Headquarters 
near Fairfax Station. The Blue Ridge divided the opposing , 
forces. Lee was moving towards the Potomac with the evident 
design of another invasion of Maryland. I supposed, of course, 
that Hooker would oppose this movement and throw his forces 
forward to the Potomac, in which case our railroad operations 
would be transferred to the line of the Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad. 

It was important for me to know what moves General Hooker 
designed to make, so that I could prepare for them. I went to 
see him at Fairfax to make inquiries, and found him in a decidedly 
bad humor. He said that he did not intend to move at all until 
he got orders, and would then obey them literally and let the re 
sponsibility rest where it belonged ; that he had made various sug 
gestions which had not been approved by the powers that be in 
Washington, and if he could not carry out his own plans, others 
must give orders, and if disaster ensued his skirts would be clear, 
or words to that effect. 

I was greatly surprised at the spirit exhibited, and at the 
close of the interview returned as rapidly as possible to Washing 
ton and reported the situation to General Halleck, stating that 
General Hooker would not move until he got orders, and that 
action ought to be taken immediately. 

General Halleck replied that some of the statements of Gen 
eral Hooker were not in accordance with the facts, and then, open 
ing his desk, took out a bundle of papers and read to me, from 
copies in his possession, part of the correspondence between Gen 
eral Hooker and the President, from which it appeared that Hook 
er s plan was to take advantage of the absence of Lee s army to 
capture Richmond. 

To this the President had replied in his characteristic style, 
as nearly as I can recollect it: "General, you may be right, but 
I think you are wrong. It seems to- me that it would be a very 
poor exchange to give Washington for Richmond. If the enemv 


is scattered, as you report, in a long thin line, with one flank at 
Frederieksburg and the other on the Potomac, why can you not 
keep your shoulder well up to him, break through somewhere in the 
middle and beat him in detail ?" 

This is the substance of the letter, as I recollect it, and it 
made a decided impression upon my memory. I do not find a 
letter in these exact words amongst the records ; but there are oth 
ers expressive of the same ideas. 

After reading the letters to me, General Ilalleck put on his 
cap and left the office. I remained in conversation with his chief 
of staff, General Cullom, for more than half an hour, when General 
Halleck returned, threw his cap on the table and remarked: 
Hooker will get his orders." 

On June 16, at 11 A. M., General Hooker telegraphed to the 
President from Fairfax Station: 

You have long been aware, Mr. President, that I have not enjoyed 
the confidence of the Major- General commanding the army, and I can 
assure you so long as this continues we may look in vain for success, 
especially as future operations will require our relations to be more de 
pendent upon each other than heretofore. 

At 11 :30 A. M. of the same day, General Halleck telegraphed 
General Hooker that there was no reliable information that the 
enemy had crossed the Potomac in any force, and advised him to 
keep his army near enough to the enemy to ascertain his move 

Several other telegrams about the same time indicate a desire 
on the part of General Hooker to avoid the exercise of any dis 
cretion in regard to the movements of his army and secure explicit 
and detailed instruction from the Commander-in-Chief. At 7 :30 
p. M. he telegraphed General Halleck: "In compliance with 
your instructions, I shall march to the relief of Harper s Ferry," 
to which General Halleck replied, 10 :15 p. M. : 

I have given no directions for your army to move to Harper s 
Ferry; I have advised the movement of a force sufficiently strong to 
ascertain where the enemy is, and then move to the relief of Harper s 
Ferry, or elsewhere, as circumstances may require. You are in command 
of the Army of the Potomac and will make the particular dispositions as 
you deem proper. I shall only indicate the objects to be arrived at. We 
have no positive information of any large force against Harper s Ferry, 
and it cannot be known whether it will be necessary to go there until you 
can feel the enemy and ascertain his whereabouts. 

At 10 P. M. the President telegraphed General Hooker : 

To remove all misunderstanding, I now place you in the strict 
military relation to General Halleck of a commander of one of the 
armies to the General-in-Chief of all the armies. I have not intended 


differently, but it seems to be differently understood. I shall direct him 
to give you orders and you to obey them. 

On June 27, 1 P. M., General Hooker telegraphed from Sandy 
Hook, a station of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, on the Potomac 
near Harper s Ferry : 

My original instructions require me to cover Harper s Ferry and 
Washington. I have now imposed upon me, in addition, an enemy in 
my front of more than my number. I beg to be understood, respectfully 
but firmly, that I am unable to comply with this condition with the 
means at my disposal, and earnestly request that I may at once be re 
lieved from the position I occupy. 

The request of General Hooker to be relieved from the com 
mand was immediately complied with, and on the same afternoon 
the President issued orders placing General Meade in command of 
the army. 

The report of General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck is charac 
teristic : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., November 15, 1863. 

SIR : In compliance with your orders I submit the following sum 
mary of military operations since my last annual report : 

General Hooker relieved General Burnside from his command on 
January 26, but no advance movement was attempted until near the end 
of April, when a large cavalry force, under General Stoneman, was sent 
across the upper Rappahannock towards Richmond to destroy the enemy s 
communications, while General Hooker, with his main army, crossed the 
Rappahannock and the Rapidan above their junction and took position 
at Ohancellorsville. At the same time General Sedgwick crossed near 
Fredericksburg and stormed and carried the heights. 

A severe battle took place on May 2 and 3 ; and on May 5 our army 
was again withdrawn to the south side of the river. 

From want of official data, I am unable to give any detailed ac 
counts of their operations, or of our losses. 

It is also proper to remark in this place, that from the time he was 
placed in command of the Army of the Potomac, till he reached Fairfax 
Station, on June 16, a few days before he was relieved from the com 
mand, General Hooker reported directly to the President, and received 
instructions directly from him. I received no official information of his 
plans, or of their execution. * 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 


Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 


WHE!^" the order was issued relieving General Hooker and 
placing General Meade in command, the army of General 
Lee occupied the Cumberland Valley in Maryland and Pennsyl 
vania, and the Army of the Potomac was on or near the line of the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. 

I proposed, as soon as practicable, to join General Meade in 
the field and ascertain his requirements, acting under the following 
special order : 

WASHINGTON, June 27, 1863. 
No. 286. 

Brigadier-General H. Haupt, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby authorized 
and directed to do whatever he may deem expedient to facilitate the 
transportation of troops and supplies to aid the armies in the field in 
Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 

By command of Major-General HallecTc. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 

On June 28, 1863, General Meade telegraphed General Hal- 
leek, acknowledging receipt of order placing him in command of 
the army, and stated that he was in ignorance of the exact condi 
tion of the troops and position of the enemy. 

Having called upon the Secretary of War and communicated 
my intentions, he directed me to remain in Washington, as he had 
some other service for me to perform. 

After waiting two or three days very impatiently, during 
which time I had no orders from the Secretary, I reported the 
situation to General Halleck, who agreed with me that I should be 
in the field, and advised me to go again to the Secretary and say 
to him that, unless he had more important duties for me to attend 
to elsewhere, General Halleck desired me to leave at once. The 
Secretary replied, "I do not know that I have anything for you 
to attend to ; you had better go." 

By this time General Meade had moved northward. The Bal 
timore & Ohio Railroad had been cut by the enemy, and I con 
cluded that the most efficient service that I could render would be 
to go to Harrisburg, ascertain the condition of affairs in Pennsyl- 



vania especially the numbers and position of the forces that had 
been raised and then make my way across the country on foot, 
or horseback, and give General Meade all the information I could 

With this object in view, I started for ITarrisburg, but as the 
Northern Central Railroad had been badly injured, I was com- 1 
pelled to travel via Philadelphia and Beading. I reached Harris- 
burg late in the evening of June 30, and repaired at once to the 
capitol. where I found Governor Ourtin and his staff. The 
room was filled with aides and other officers. M uch confusion 
and excitement prevailed. I could get very little information, 
and asked where I could find Colonel Thomas A. Scott. 

Having been informed that he was at the station engaged in 
dispatching troops to protect the bridges on the Pennsylvania 
Railroad that had been threatened by a cavalry raid, I repaired to 
the station, and, when the trains had been started, requested him, 
after showing my instructions, to give me a full and detailed 
report of the situation. 

The request was complied with, from which I learned that, 
until the morning of that day, the enemy had occupied the opposite 
side of the river in large force; that at an early hour they had 
commenced to retreat, and with so much precipitancy that in some 
cases provisions had been lej:t uncooked; that the artillery had 
gone through Mechanicsburg at a fast trot. Numerous other de 
tails were also given. 

I then asked what explanation could be given as to the cause 
of these movements, and the answer was, that the enemy had been 
deceived by the representation that we had 60,000 men on the east 
side of the river, when, in fact, there were but 15,000 raw recruits, 
and that, unwilling to risk the passage of the river in the face of 
so large a force, Lee had concluded to retreat. 

I replied to Colonel Scott : "You are entirely in error. These 
movements do not mean retreat; they mean concentration. Re 
treat would not be made hastily with no enemy pushing ; it would 
be done deliberately, foraging on the country on the route. My 
explanation is this: Lee has just received the intelligence that 
Hooker has been relieved and Meade put in command. He knows 
that our Army Corps are scattered, and that Meade cannot get the 
reins in hand for some days at least, and he has formed the design 
to concentrate with all possible expedition and fall, with a largely 
superior force, upon our isolated Army Corps and overwhelm them 
successively. We are in the most critical condition we have been 
in since the war commenced, and nothing but the interposition of 
Providence can save us. If the army is destroyed, no new force 
can be collected in time to make effectual resistance. Washington, 


Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York will fall, and the enemy 
can then, as masters of the situation, dictate their own terms."* 

Scott replied, "I think you are right." I answered, "I am 
sure I am/ 7 and immediately wrote and forwarded this telegram 
at 10 :30 p. M. : 

HARRISBURG, PA., June 30, 1863. 
Major-General HallecTc, General-in-Chief: 

Lee is falling back suddenly from the vicinity of Harrisburg, and 
concentrating all his forces. York has been evacuated. Carlisle is be 
ing evacuated. The concentration appears to be at or near Chambers- 
burg. The object, apparently, a sudden movement against Meade, of 
which he should be advised by courier immediately. A courier might 
reach Frederick by way of Western Maryland Railroad to Westminster. 
This information comes from T. A. Scott, and I think it reliable. 


Further information continued to be received, and at 12 :45 
A. M. I sent a second telegram, stating that information just re 
ceived indicated that the point of concentration of Lee s forces 
was at Gettysburg, and not at Chambersburg. General Meade 
received this information at 3 A. M. by special courier from West 
minster, as he subsequently informed me. 

HARRISBURG, July 1, 1863, 6 A. M. 
Major-General Halleclc, General-in-Chief U. S. Army. 

GENERAL: I sent two telegrams last night and sent the same to 
General Schenck. 

Finding the communications cut with Meade s army, I concluded 
to run to Harrisburg, ascertain the position of affairs, then return to 
Baltimore, and try to work my way through to Frederick. 

I found that there had been some skirmishing near Harrisburg 
yesterday; that the forces gathered for the protection of the place 
amounted to 16,000 men, and that the information in regard to the move 
ments, position, and numbers of the enemy and arrangements for keep 
ing advised of the same, were apparently reliable. 

It appears to have been the intention of the enemy to attack Harris- 
burg yesterday. Our forces, supposed to be Pleasanton s, were resisting 
their movements and T. A. Scott said, had actually succeeded in retard 
ing their advance upon Harrisburg and compelled a retreat. I thought 
I saw a much more decisive and important move on the tapis. Lee had 
received information of the removal of Hooker and the situation of 
Meade. He knew, also, that Meade s communications had been cut off 
by Stuart; that some confusion must exist from the change of com 
manders ; that Meade could not at once get his forces in hand, and that, 
by suddenly concentrating and falling upon Meade, he could be crushed, 
when Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia would all be at the mercy 
of the enemy. I mentioned to Scott my opinion, in which he at once 

* NOTE. After the war I happened to travel in the same car with General 
Longstreet between New Orleans and Richmond, and he fully confirmed the opinion 
here expressed as to the design of Lee in the movement towards Gettysburg. 


concurred, and I immediately sent the telegram to you and to General 
Schenck last night. 

The most reliable information as to the number of the enemy, as 
given by Scott, is as follows: 

Ewell 23,000 men, 48 pieces; Longstreet 30,000 men, 122 pieces; 
Hill 24,000 men, pieces not known; Early 15,000 men, 26 pieces; total 
92,000 men and 236 pieces, exclusive of Hill s. Forces of Ewell were 
counted in Carlisle Friday P. M., June 26, as they passed. They left 
Carlisle by the Balitmore pike, Tuesday, June 30, 5 A. M. 

Longstreet s Corps passed through Chambersburg on Friday and 
Saturday (27th) in the direction of Carlisle. In Carlisle Sunday 
evening; left on Monday afternoon; went through Newville with artil 
lery in full trot, in the direction of Shippensburg, probably to take the 
Gettysburg road from this point. 

Lee was in the square at Chambersburg at 9 A. M., Saturday, with 
8,000 men and 40 pieces (part of Hill s). Left after conference with 
Hill in the direction of Gettysburg. Hill s Corps commenced leaving 
Chambersburg at 12 M. Saturday, three hours after Lee, in the same di 

Early left Gettysburg for York Saturday, entered York Sunday; 
left York 2 p. M. Tuesday. 

Firing Tuesday for several hours about Dillsburg and Petersburg, 
on the line between York and Gettysburg. 

I am leaving for Baltimore. 

Respectfully submitted, 


I left Harrisburg on the morning of July 1, reached Balti 
more in the evening, and at once proceeded to organize transporta 
tion on the Western Maryland Railroad. On reaching West 
minster, I found everything in great confusion, hundreds of 
wagons waiting, and the officers clamoring for supplies. 

I asked them to give me a few minutes to think, and to escape 
the crowd I crept into a covered wagon and hid myself. In a 
short time I emerged, having organized a plan of operations, and, 
as soon as I could reach the wires, commenced to put it in opera 

J. 1ST. Du Barry, the Superintendent of the Northern Central 
Railroad, was relieved at his own request. Adna Anderson was 
ordered from Alexandria, with a force of 400 railroad men, a train 
of split wood, lanterns, buckets, etc., and under his efficient man 
agement thirty trains per day were passed over the Westminster 
Railroad, 29 miles^ on which there were no sidings sufficient to 
pass trains, and which had previously accommodated only three or 
four per day. Water was dipped in buckets from the streams, and 
the wood was brought from Alexandria, ready cut and split. The 
operation of this road, under the circumstances, was a very credit 
able performance, and was so successful that, as General Ingalls 
stated, the army at no time had less than three days rations ahead. 


The following telegrams will furnish further information in 
regard to the Military Railroad operations during the battle on 
the second, third and fourth days of July : 

HARRISKURG, PA., July 1, 1863, 12 :45 A. M. 
Major-General H. W. Halleck. General-in-Chief:* 

Information just received, 12:45 A. M., leads to the belief that the 
concentration of the forces of the enemy will be at Gettysburg rather 
than at Chambersburg. The movement on their part is very rapid and 
hurried. They returned from Carlisle in the direction of Gettysburg by 
way of the Petersburg pike. Firing about Petersburg and Dillstown 
this P. M. continued some hours. Meade should, by all means, be in 
formed, and be prepared for a sudden attack from Lee s whole army. 

Brigadier- General. 

General Meade subsequently informed me that he received 
both of my former dispatches by courier in his tent at 3 A. M. 

At Harrisburg I received a copy of General Jubal A. Early s 
proclamation to the citizens of York, Pa. ? as follows : 

YORK, PA., June 30, 1863. 
To the Citizens of York: 

I have abstained from burning the railroad buildings and car shops 
in your town because, after examination, I am satisfied the safety of the 
town would be endangered, and acting in the spirit of humanity, which 
has ever characterized my government and its military authorities, I do 
not desire to involve the innocent in the same punishment with the guilty. 
Had I applied the torch, without regard to consequences, I would have 
pursued a course that would have been fully vindicated as an act of just 
retaliation for the authorized acts of barbarity perpetrated by your own 
army on our soil; but we do not war upon women and children, and I 
trust that the treatment you have met with at the hands of my soldiers 
will open your eyes to the monstrous iniquity of the war waged by your 
Government upon the people of the Confederate States, and that you will 
make an effort to shake off the revolting tyranny under which it is ap 
parent to all you are yourselves groaning. 

Major-General C. S. Army. 

BALTIMORE, July 1, 1863. 
General R. Ingalls: 

The Western Maryland Railroad is in running order, but there are 
numerous small bridges in danger of destruction from rebel sympa 
thizers. As guards cannot be provided, it will be necessary to run trains 
with escorts. The road is not in good condition; it has but a single 
track, no adequate sidings, and the time consumed in running the ordi 
nary trains has been five hours for twenty-nine miles. There is no tele 
graph line on the road. 

* NOTE. And to General Meade and General Schenck. 


To forward supplies by this line, the following arrangements will 
be required : 

1. Trains must be run in convoys of five or six with guards suffi 
cient for protection. 

2. Half a dozen men should be placed at each bridge to keep off 
individuals mischievously inclined. 

3. No schedule can be used, but when a convoy is dispatched from 
Junction no others can be sent until they have returned, so long as there 
are no telegraph lines. 

4. It will be all-important, on the arrival of a convey, to unload 
each and every car on the main v track and send back immediately. This 
duty will require the most efficient officer of your staff. The rapidity 
with which cars can be unloaded will measure the capacity of this road 
to supply the army. 

5. No extras or specials should be run over the road until a tele 
graph line is established, as great risk and delay will resurt from it. 

I have ordered iron, cars and engines from Alexandria, and will 
increase the business facilities at the depot as rapidly as possible. 

Please communicate with me at the Eutaw House and let me know 
your wishes. It is not necessary to say that no time will be lost in carry 
ing them into effect. 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

July 1, 1863. 
General M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster General: 

I find that the communication with the Army of the Potomac by 
rail to Westminster will be very slow and uncertain, besides interfering 
most seriously with the supply trains. It has, therefore, been arranged 
to start immediately horse expresses at intervals of three hours, with , 
relays every seven miles, to run day and night. The distance from Bal- - 
timore to Westminster is only twenty-eight miles, the road a good turn 
pike. The distance by rail is much longer. The time usually required 
by rail has been five hours from junction. The time by express from 
Baltimore will be three hours. 

I send copy of note to General Ingalls to be forwarded by first ex 
press. Please communicate contents to General Halleck and Secretary 
of War, that the arrangement may be understood. 

Adams Express Company will run the horse express. S. M. Shoe 
maker, Esq., has made the necessary arangements with aid of General 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

WASHINGTON, July 1, 1863. 
For Brigadier-General H. Haupt, U. S. A.: 

General Meade desires that you be prepared to push on the repairs 
of the Northern Central Road to open connection with him from Balti- 
more as soon as he reaches the line of the road. I have ordered Con 
struction Corps and train to Western Maryland Road, now open, to 
prepare siding and turnouts and be ready to transfer to the Northern 
Central. As soon as that is safe, you will proceed via Baltimore to these 
two lines to take charge of operations. These roads have sent away 


much of their equipments. Some of the military stock will be sent for 
ward; it is lighter than the B. & O. R. R. engines. 

Quartermaster General. 

July 2, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Anderson and Construction Corps of 400 men left here yesterday 
p. M. The force has undoubtedly gone up the Northern Central to West 
minster Branch to build turnouts. I requested Mr. Anderson to find 
you if he could; if not, to proceed up the line. Four car-loads of iron 
have been forwarded; more will be sent to-day. Have telegraphed you 
fully, addressed to Eutaw House, Baltimore. 


July 2, 1863, 3 o clock. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

I have, after careful inspection of condition and estimate of ca 
pacity of the Western Maryland Road, arranged for fifteen trains per day 
each way, in convoys of five trains each, at intervals of eight hours. 
Trains cannot pass at any point on this road from want of sidings, and 
there is no telegraph line. Still, if cars are promptly unloaded, and no 
accident occurs, I hope to pass 150 cars per day each way, capable of 
carrying from 2,000 to 4,000 wounded in return cars. The rapidity of 
loading and unloading will measure the capacity of the road. My men 
have passed over the Northern Central Railroad to Hanover Junction, 
and over Hanover and Gettysburg. A branch is marked on the map 
from Hanover to Littlestown, but my information is that the track is 
actually laid only a few hundred yards from Hanover. I have informed 
General Ingalls by courier of all these facts, and it rests with him to 
designate the route. I have no very recent information from Gettysburg, 
but at last account, the position of the enemy would not permit the re 
construction and operation of the Gettysburg Branch of that line. I 
can soon open the branch road to Gettysburg after we have full and un 
disturbed possession. 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

RELAY STATION, N. C. R. R., July 2, 1863. 
Brigadier-General Haupt, Eutaw House: 

Just returned from New Oxford and Hanover Junction. There are 
nineteen bridges destroyed. Between York Haven and Hanover Junc 
tion and Gettysburg there are two small ones gone and one partly. I 
think these three bridges can be put up in from one to two days. 

12 midnight. Engineer of Construction. 

July 2, 1863. 
Colonel D. C. McCallum, Washington: 

Trainmen have reported. I expect to see Du Barry to-day and 
make arrangements. The Western Maryland Railroad to Westminster, 
the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to Frederick, and the Northern Cen 
tral to Hanover Junction are in order. 




HARRISBURG, July 2, 1863. 
General : 

Your telegram directing me to report to Mr. Du Barry is received, 
but before it arrived General Couch, in consequence of some trouble 
with railroads here, had issued an order appointing me "Superintend 
ent of Railroad Transportation" in his Department, and in accordance 
with permit "To make myself useful in any way" I had accepted the 
position subject to your orders, and have taken measures to remove the 
difficulties complained of. I think this a much better arrangement than 
taking military possession of the railroad, as suggested by Colonel 

Below please find copy of General Couch s Special Order No. 22 : 

2. Colonel W. W. Wright, Superintendent U. S. Military Railroads, is hereby ap 
pointed Superintendent of Railroad Transportation in this Department. 

I have seen Mr. Cameron, President Northern Central Railroad, 
and have consulted with General Couch, and he does not think it ad 
visable to commence the reconstruction of the Northern Central at this 
end at present. Mr. Cameron informs me that Mr. Anderson s Con 
struction Corps are at work on the Baltimore end of the road, and that 
Mr. Du Barry is at Baltimore. 

I will, therefore, hold on until I can hear from you as to whether 
you wish me to remain here or not. 


Superintendent of United States Military Railroads. 
Brigadier-General H. Haupt, 

Chief Construction and Transportation. 

July 2, 1863. 
Colonel Ambrose Thomson, Assistant Quartermaster: 

If Mr. Wright s services to you are invaluable, I will allow him 
to remain with you. I cannot, however, delegate to any one the power, 
at his discretion, to take military possession of any or all railroads. It 
is best to operate roads by and through the regular officers and agents. 
If a necessity should arise for taking possession of the Chambersburg 
and of the Hanover branch roads for a short time, the proper orders will 
issue when the necessity arises, but I would not consent to any seizure 
of, or interference with, the Pennsylvania or the Northern Central Rail 

There should be no confusion. No orders should be given except 
by or through you as Quartermaster, and your orders should be given 
only to the Superintendent of each road, or some one designated by him. 

The Pennsylvania Central, Northern Central and Lebanon \ 7 alley 
Railroads are managed by experienced officers, and preference will 
always be given by them to Government transportation. To assert or 
exercise authority will not be necessary or proper. 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 



July 2, 1863. 

We drove the rebels on our left this afternoon some distance. Our 
line formed an arc, but our left is now tangent. 

Prospect of heavy work to-morrow. Rebels having been foiled in 
four attempts to carry our right and left wings, I think will next try 
to get in our rear. 


BALTIMORE, July 3, 1863. 
General D, H. Ruclcer, Washington: 

I am just informed that supplies have been ordered by you to 
Union Bridge. They have heretofore been manifested to Westminster. 
The arrangements for running the road have been completed under the 
impression that Westminster was to be the depot. The amount of sup 
plies that can be forwarded to Union Bridge will be much less than can 
be handled at Westminster, and will involve an entire change of our 

The distance of Union Bridge from the headquarters of the army 
is about the same as from Westminster and the road from Westminster 
much better. Can you not telegraph orders immediately to have the 
supplies unloaded at Westminster instead of Union Bridge? 


WASHINGTON, July 3, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Your dispatch received. You have full authority to do whatever 
you think proper in respect to transportation. You will please give to 
J. N. Du Barry, Superintendent Northern Central Road, the thanks of 
the Department for his energetic cooperation. 


Secretary of War. 


July 3, 1863, 12 M. 
General H. Haupt, Baltimore: 

Spare no efforts to send trains to bring in the wounded. It is said 
/that the road from Baltimore to Littlestown, only seven (7) miles from 
the field, is in working order and protected. If transportation by rail 
cannot be had, provide it in any other practicable mode. 


Secretary of War. 

HANOVER JUNCTION, July 4, 1863. 
Major-General Halleclc, General-in-Chief: 

All the supplies offered for transportation on Westminster branch 
have been sent forward, and sidings at Relay are clear. Our arrange 
ments work well. Transportation of the wounded should be via West 
minster, to fill return cars. I have so requested. 

Our men rebuilt entirely the bridge at this junction, three spans 
about forty feet, this morning. They expect to reach York to-morrow 
night. The reconstruction of the Northern Central entire at this time 
may not be an imperative military necessity, but as my Corps would not 


be otherwise employed, it is best to do it. I will endeavor to secure for 
you, when I reach Hanover, more rapid communication by telegraph 
with Gettysburg 


HANOVER, PA., July 4, 1863. 
Major-General HallecTc f General-in-Chief: 

I am now at Hanover Station. A bridge is broken between this 
place and Littlestown. I will proceed at once to repair it, and commence 
to send off wounded; then return and take the Gettysburg Railroad and 
commence repairing it. It will be well to make a good hospital in York, 
with which place I expect in two days to be in communication by rail. \s 
Until then, temporary arrangements can be made for wounded. I learn 
that the wire is intact for nine miles towards Gettysburg. I will have 
it repaired, and communicate any information of importance that I can 

Brigadier- General. 

HANOVER, PA., July 4, 1S63, 4 p. M. 
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief: 

I have just returned from Littlestown. Bridge repaired; trains 
with wounded following. Saw Captain Fry, of General Sickles staff. v " 
Have arranged to bring General Sickles by special train to Washington. 
General Meade s Headquarters said to be nine miles from Littlestown, 
on Taneytown road. I am now starting towards Gettysburg to repair 
road and telegraph. Captain Fry reports that Pleasanton sent a note 
to General Sickles last evening, saying he had routed and driven the 
enemy; reported that Longstreet and Hill are both wounded and pris 
oners; that 3,000 prisoners passed through Littlestown this morning; 
that we are in possession of Gettysburg, and that Lee is retreating by 
Chambersburg road. I give these reports as I get them from Captain 
Fry. They may not be correct. No firing heard to-day. Telegram 
from General Meade received by courier says enemy retreated from 
Gettysburg at 3 A. M. He will follow when rations are received for men 
and horses. 


OXFORD, PA., July 4, 1863, 11 p. M. 
Major-General HallecTc, General-in-Chief: 

Night has overtaken me at Oxford, seven miles east of Gettysburg. 
We have been at work on a large bridge near this town, which is con- r - 
siderably damaged. It will require two hours to-morrow to finish it, 
when we will proceed to Gettysburg. A portion of track is torn up. I 
have found the foreman of repairs, and he will commence to repair the 
track at daylight. About a mile of the telegraph wire is down and wire 
carried off. I have sent my engine to junction for men and material 
to repair it. When an office is ready and line in order to Gettysburg, 
the operator will report to General Meade s Headquarters. 

Persons just in from Gettysburg report the position of affairs. I 
fear that while Meade rests to refresh his men and collect supplies, Lee 
will be off so far that he cannot intercept him. A good force on the line 
of the Potomac to prevent Lee from crossing would, I think, insure his 


By 11 o clock to-night about two thousand tons of supplies should 
have been forwarded since yesterday morning to Meade s army if so 
much has been offered for transportation. I had arranged for 1,500 tons 
per day on Western Maryland Railroad. The reopening of the Northern 
Central Railroad from Hanover Junction to York will permit the rapid 
and convenient removal of wounded to that city, which is an excellent 
location for hospitals. I expect to have this completed by to-morrow 
(Sunday) night. 


Saturday night, July 4, the Construction Corps reached the 
last bridge on the road to Gettysburg. It was dark and rainy, 
and the men were required to do their work by the aid of lanterns, 
but at such a time personal convenience was not consulted. After 
getting the work properly started, I walked to Oxford, 10 miles 
from Gettysburg, and passed the night at the house of a friend. 


THE next morning, Sunday, July 5, and the day after Lee s 
retreat, my friend drove me in his buggy to Gettysburg. I 
found General Patrick in the square, and was directed by him to 
Ueade s Headquarters on the Baltimore pike, near Kock Creek, 
two and a half miles from town. Here I found Generals Meade 
and Pleasanton. I informed them that by noon that day they 
would be in communication with Washington, both by rail and 
telegraph, at which much surprise and gratification were expressed, 
as it had been understood that the destruction of the bridges had 
been so complete that two or three weeks would be required for 
their renewal. 

As this interview was an important one, I propose to describe 
it as accurately as possible. General Meade was seated at a small 
table in a farm house; General Pleasanton on his left. I was 
facing them on the opposite side. They gave me a brief history 
of the engagement, during which General Pleasanton made the 
remark that if Longstreet had concentrated his fire more in the 
center instead of scattering it over the whole of our left flank and 
held on a little longer, we would have been beaten. General 
Meade made no reply. He did not dissent, and I concluded from 
this fact that he acquiesced to this opinion. 

During the conversation General Barksdales sword was 
brought, and a number of relics of the battlefield, some of which 
were given to me. 

After an hour or more spent in general conversation, I asked 
General Meade in reference to his future movements, so that I 
could arrange for his supplies, and observed that I supposed he 
would march at once to the Potomac and cut off Lee s retreat. He 
replied that he could not start immediately. The men required 

I ventured to remark that the men had been well supplied 
with rations ; that they had been stationary behind the stone walls 
during the battle ; that they could not be footsore ; that the enemy 
before and after the battle had been in motion more than our 
army; that it was but little more than a day s march to the river, 



and that if advantage were not taken of Lee s present condition, 
lie would escape. 

To this General Meade answered that Lee had no pontoon 
train and that the river was swollen by rains and was not fordable. 

I replied: "Do not place confidence in that. I have men 
in my Construction Corps who could construct bridges in forty- 
eight hours sufficient to pass that army, if they have no other mate 
rial than such as they could gather from old buildings or from the 
woods, and it is not safe to assume that the enemy cannot do what 

we can." 

There was more conversation on the subject. As a class-mate 
of General Meade at West Point, I did not hesitate to express my 
opinions freely without fear of offense. I could not, however, re 
move the idea from General Meade that a period of rest was nec 

I left much discouraged, and as soon as practicable, com 
municated the situation to General Halleck at Washington, in 
hopes that something could be done to urge General Meade to more 
prompt action than he appeared to contemplate. I took an engine 
the same night after the interview with General Meade and went 
to Washington to make a report to General Halleck in person early 
on Monday morning, July 6. 

General Meade informed me that he proposed to move his 
Headquarters towards Creagerstown, but there was nothing to in 
dicate any disposition to move rapidly with any considerable por 
tion of his force to cut off Lee s retreat, and I left him with the 
impression upon my mind that there would be no advance of any 
considerable portion of the army for some days, and that Lee 
would be sure to escape and the fruits of the victory be lost. These 
fears were realized, although Lee did not cross the river until 
July 14. 

At the opening of the "Northern Pacific Railroad in 1884, of 
which I was General Manager, President Arthur and Secretary of 
War Eobert T. Lincoln were invited guests. Lincoln sent word 
that he wished to see me, and when I presented myself he inquired 
about information given by me immediately after the battle of 
Gettysburg. He said that upon entering his father s room one 
day he found him in great trouble, and upon inquiring the cause 
the President said that information had been received from Gen 
eral Haupt which led to the belief that Meade did not intend im 
mediately to follow up his victory and that Lee would escape. He 
asked for my exact recollection of the facts, which I gave him as 
here stated. 

My telegram to General Halleck of Sunday, July 5, after the 
interview with General Meade, shows very clearly that I had little 



hope that Lee would be intercepted and prevented from crossing 
the river, and my hope then was, by a very prompt movement to 
head him off, intercept his supplies and reinforcements and starve 
him out, or compel him to fight again under unfavorable conditions. 

BALTIMORE, MD V July 5, 1863. 
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief: 

I have just returned from Headquarters of General Meade. I left 
him about 1 P. M., about moving for Creagerstown. The main body of the 
enemy appears to have taken the Hagerstown road. They will reach the 
Potomac before Meade can possibly overtake them. Would it not be well , ,,. 
to send immediately forces to occupy all the gaps on the side of Shenan- " 
doah Valley; ascertain condition of Manassas Gap Railroad, and, by 
a very prompt movement, throw a large force on Front Royal to inter 
cept them ? I will see you to-morrow. 


On Monday morning I had a personal interview with General 
Halleck, and explained verbally the situation, then I called upon 
the Secretary of War and the President separately. After the 
interview with General Halleck I returned to my office and wrote 
the following letter, in which I assumed, from the position taken 
by General Meade, that he would certainly permit Lee to escape, 
and suggested the course that should be pursued to minimize to 
some extent the evil effects : 

WASHINGTON, D. 0., July 6, 1863. 
Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief U. 8. Army. 

GENERAL: I fear that in my brief statement this morning I did 
not express clearly the idea I intended to convey. I did not mean to 
suggest that the principle of concentration should be violated, for in this 
I am well aware, has heretofore consisted the enemy s strength and our 
weakness. My idea is this: 

Lee left Gettysburg Saturday morning in retreat, Meade more than 
one day behind. 

Lee would nearly have reached Hagerstown when Meade started 
from Gettysburg. 

From Hagerstown to South Mountain Gap or from Frederick to 
same point the distance is about thirteen miles. Lee could reach the 
Gap of South Mountain one day ahead of Meade, unless the Gap was 
occupied by French, and I was not aware of the fact until to-day that 
he had such orders. 

By holding Meade in check at the Gap of South Mountain for a 
few days, the fords would become passable and Lee could cross the Po 

Once across, he could move more rapidly than we could follow and 
instead of attempting it, Meade would probably move on the inside track 
east of the Blue Ridge. 

In this condition of affairs, the railroad would be indispensable, 
and as the country must now be nearly clear of the enemy, a very small 
force could occupy the Gaps of the Blue Ridge, make descents into the 
valley to cut off any trains of supplies sent to relieve Lee and put the 
Manassas Gap and Orange & Alexandria Railroads in condition for use, 
if sudden demand should be made upon them. 


Even if Lee s army should be captured or dispersed north of the 
Potomac, I suppose the railroad will be required for a movement south 
to strike rapidly and follow up our advantages until every strong place 
has fallen and the rebellion be completely crushed. 

If the enemy succeeded in crossing the Potomac, then a large num 
ber of troops could be sent by rail to Front Royal or Gordonsville, in 
stead of following the enemy by marches. 

McDowell used to say that I was always seeking to anticipate posi 
tions for a year ahead and provide for them, but if this be a fault, I 
think it is on the safe side; better look too far ahead than not be ready. 

Excuse my suggestions ; they may be and probably are of no value 
whatever. I have neither your judgment, experience, nor sources of 
information, but anxious to do something to finish up the war. I feel 
better satisfied with myself if I make them than if I do nothing. 

I am again off for Frederick to-day. 

Very respectfully submitted, 


The foregoing letter, which I find in my old letter-book, is 
important as throwing light upon a point on which I had some 

I had been with Meade until noon Sunday, July 5. I then 
spent two or three hours in walking over the battlefield, and on 
Monday, July 6, I was in Washington and wrote the above letter. 
It shows that at that early date (Monday, July 6), I anticipated 
the escape of Lee, which was not accomplished until July 14, and 
that I sought to repair the error in part by rapid movements to in 
tercept his supplies and embarrass his retreat. 

It is ungenerous to criticise faults, and it is always easy, after 
an event, to say what might have been ; but so far as my opinions 
are concerned, they were matters of record before, and not after 
the event. I clearly predicted what would probably occur, and 
what did actually occur, and I am probably largely responsible 
for what has been denounced as an act of great injustice to Gen 
eral Meade in the correspondence between himself and the Presi 
dent and General Halleck, which caused him to ask to be relieved 
from the command. 

My ideas of the situation then, and I have seen no reason to 
change them since, can be briefly stated. 

Lee s army had been badly beaten ; it was fatigued, much more 
than ours, from forced marches and charges ; it had suffered great 
losses : it must have been, to a great extent, dispirited and demor 
alized, and, it was reasonable to suppose, very short of artillery 
ammunition which could not be supplied north of the Potomac. 

In this condition retreat was interrupted by an impassable 
river. The army was in a trap. It must either find means to get 
across that river, fight another battle, or surrender. 

Meade s army could have reached the Potomac certainly in 
less than two days ; it was less fatigued than its enemy ; it would 


be marching towards its base of supplies via the Baltimore & Ohio 
Railroad ; no large supply of rations was required and, as General 
Ingalls reported, they had an abundance ; they had, I understood, 
two pontoon trains for bridges, and there was no large, if any, 
force of the enemy on the south side of the Potomac, for Lee had 
carried with him into Pennsylvania all his available forces. 

NOAV, it is possible that if Meade had attacked Lee in a strong- 
defensive position, the enemy would have fought desperately so 
long as their scant supply of ammunition lasted, and our losses 
might have been heavy, although I cannot believe that the result 
would have been disastrous even then. 

But this was not necessary. Meade could have taken position 
below Lee on the river, covering Washington and his base of sup 
plies at the same time. He could have chosen a spot readily de 
fensible against attack, and thrown a part of his force, by means 
of his bridges, across the river, keeping them within supporting 
distance. This force could safely have been spared and, if neces 
sary in case of attack, could have been recalled. A force on the 
south side with a small amount of artillery would have effectually 
cut off all reinforcements and supplies, and the construction of 
bridges under fire would never have been attempted. Lee would 
never have renewed the attack if Meade had occupied a defensible 
position ; he would have sent in a flag of truce and capitulated then 
and there. 

This result I anticipated until after the conference with 
Meade on Sunday morning. After that, I had but little doubt that 
Lee would escape, and directed my attention to the best means of 
repairing the damage that would be caused by such disaster. 

To build a bridge across the Potomac I knew to be a very / 
simple matter, if unmolested by the fire of the enemy. The photo 
graphs and accompanying printed explanations that had been sent 
to nearly all the Corps commanders would have enabled any intel 
ligent engineer officer to construct bridges from timbers cut in the 
woods and from material from old buildings ; and the fact is that 
the enemy did build their bridges precisely as I had predicted that 
they would. 

Assuming that the enemy would succeed in crossing the Poto 
mac, and continue their retreat up the Shenandoah Valley towards 
Front Royal and Staunton, the question then was, what move 
ments should be made by the Federal army ? 

To follow after the enemy would be folly. It would be like 
a tortoise attempting to catch a greyhound. Lee would be moving 
towards his base and growing stronger daily, while Meade would 
be leaving his base behind with an increasing line of communica- 


tion, subject to constant interruption by guerrillas and cavalry 

The Shenandoah Valley is bounded on the east by the high 
range of the Blue Ridge Mountains, extending through the State ; 
and near the base of the Blue Ridge runs the line of the Orange & 
Alexandria Railroad from Alexandria through Fairfax, Manassas, 
Charlottesville and Lynchburg. 

Two railroads crossed the Blue Ridge the Chesapeake & 

Ohio through Charlottesville, crossing at Rockfish Gap; and the 

road from Norfolk to Bristol through Lynchburg, crossing at Blue 

- Ridge Station. These two railroads would be the main sources of 

supply for Lee s army. 

With the bridge torpedoes and the implements for destroying 
track, described elsewhere, a force of cavalry could quickly wreck 
these roads and bridges, and, by occupying the gaps of the mount 
ain through which the common roads passed and obstructing them 
with fallen trees, could prevent wagons from the east from reach 
ing the rebel army. 

This would have cut off communication with Richmond and 
the ammunition supplies of which they were in need, and com 
pelled them to scatter to subsist upon the country. 

Then would have been the time to watch the movements from 
the mountains and strike blows when opportunity offered, risking 
a general engagement only when the conditions were favorable for 

My letter to General Halleck outlined such a plan as this. 
In f act, after the escape of Lee, the line of the Orange & Alexan 
dria Railroad was reoccupied after some weeks of delay, and be 
came once more the base of supplies; but the movements of the 
military were too slow, and the advantages they might have gained 
by celerity were lost. 

With 30,000 men, the great Napoleon could beat 100,000. 
He manoeuvred until his enemy was separated, then struck like a 
thunderbolt, and repeated the blows until his enemy was van 
quished. After victory he did not stop to rest and let his enemy 

We had no Napoleons in the armies of the East on either side. 
Stonewall Jackson was the nearest approach to one, and if he had 
lived possibly the fate of the rebellion might have been different. 

A feather s weight would have turned the scale at Gettysburg ! 

The opinion has been expressed by some that if Meade had 

moved as I have indicated and occupied a defensive position on the 

- Potomac below Lee s army, the enemy could have reoccupied the 

Cumberland Valley and drawn supplies of forage and rations from 

this rich country. Lee certainly, in the condition of his army, 


would not have attempted a retrograde movement, and as the Corps 
of General Couch, which had not been in action, occupied the Val 
ley, any foraging parties would have been cut off*. 

Subsistence could have been obtained only for a very short 
time, and ammunition, of which he was greatly in need, could not 
have been secured north of the Potomac. While he might have 
successfully resisted an attack from Meade, a renewal of the of 
fensive in the condition of his army would have been a desperate 
movement with no prospect of success, and there is no reason to 
believe that it would have been attempted. Lee was in a trap, 
and if he had been prevented from crossing the river, he must 
have surrendered. 

General Hunt, in the Century of January, 1887, gives the 
relative strength of the contending armies Federal 77,208 in 
fantry, Confederates 59,484; but remarks that "neither return is 
worth much except as a basis for guessing." 

At my last interview with General Hooker just before he was 
relieved, he informed me that the total of his effective men did not 
exceed GOjOOO, My report to General Halleck of July 1, from 
information obtained from Colonel Thomas A. Scott, from actual 
count of the Confederate forces in Chambersburg and Carlisle, 
gave 92,000 men and 230 pieces of artillery, exclusive of Hill s. 

I have never doubted that the Confederate forces in the battle 
of Gettysburg were largely in excess of our own. 

In an article in the Century, General Longstreet states that 
he objected to the attack on the Cemetery Ridge on the second day, 
and advisd Lee to turn Meade s position by the right flank, which 
would have compelled a precipitate evacuation by Meade of his 
strong position and compelled him to give battle when the advan 
tage of position would have been on the side of the enemy. 

I can see no reason why such a movement would not have been 
successful. The movement could readily have been concealed for 
some time by the character of the country, and before Meade could 
have discovered it the bulk of the Confederate army could have 
been interposed between him and Washington. 

Another critic defends Lee and lays the blame on Longstreet, 
charging him with dilatory movements. It is stated that Long- 
street w r as ordered to make an attack early in the day, and that, 
had he done so, the Union forces holding Cemetery Ridge would 
have been overwhelmed before the arrival of reinforcements. This 
may be true also, and shows how little would have turned the scale 
and how narrowly the Union army escaped a disastrous defeat and 
gained a glorious victory. That the fruits of victory were not 
harvested when the opportunity was presented must ever remain a 
source of profound regret. 


HARRISBURG, July 6, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Message received. ISTo U. S. M. cars on our line. Your construc 
tion cars, eight in number, are on Northern Central, but cannot be 
spared from your operating force. The roads centering at Philadelphia 
can give you only number of cars that may be needed if your own and B. 
& O. and Feltons are not sufficient. Please advise fully. Lee s army is 
flying for Potomac; the Cumberland Valley from Greenvillage south is 
full of them. General Conch is harassing them. Captured 500 pris 
oners, 100 wagons and three pieces artillery near Greencastle last night. 

If good forces are thrown forward from Frederick to Boonsboro 
and Hagerstown, most of Lee s army will be captured. 


July 6, 1863, the President telegraphed to General Halleck: 

I left the telegraph office a good deal dissatisfied. I see a dispatch 
from General French saying the enemy is crossing his wounded over 
th river in flats; still later, another dispatch from General Pleasanton, 
by direction of General Meade, to General French, stating that the main 
army is halted, because it is believed the rebels are concentrating, and 
is not to move until it is ascertained that the rebels intend to evacuate 
Cumberland Valley. 

These things all appear to me to be connected with a purpose to 
cover Baltimore and Washington and get the enemy across the river 
again without a further collision, and they do not appear to be con 
nected with a purpose to prevent his crossing and to destroy him. I do 
fear the former purpose is acted upon, and the latter rejected. 

Although, perhaps, it was more the concern of some other 
officer to do so, I addressed to the presidents of the Boston & 
Worcester; ^"ew Haven, Hartford & Springfield; Camden & 
Amboy; Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore; Cleveland & 
Toledo; Pitteburg, Columbus & Cincinnati; Pennsylvania 
Central ; Indiana Central ; Cleveland & Pittsburg ; New Jersey 
Railroad & Transportation Co.; New York & New Haven; and 
Michigan Southern Eailroads this telegram : 

WASHINGTON CITY, July 6, 1863. 

I am informed by the Quartermaster General that, in order to 
reap the fruits of victory, a large number of fresh horses are most 
urgently required. They are needed to recruit the cavalry and restore 
the batteries to a condition of efficiency. Extraordinary efforts should 



be made by the officers of all railroads over which horses are transported 
to push them forward without delay, day and night. 

Please give this subject prompt personal attention. In no other 
way can more efficient service be rendered at this time to the country. 
The enemy must not escape if in our own power to prevent it. 

Chief of Construction and Transportation 

United States Military Railroads. 

General Halleck to General Meade July 7, 1363 : 

You have given the enemy a stunning blow at Gettysburg. Fol 
low it up and give him another before he can reach the Potomac. When 
he crosses, circumstances will determine whether it will not be best to 
pursue him by the Shenandoah Valley, or on this side of the Blue 
Ridge. There is strong evidence that he is short of artillery ammuni 
tion, and if vigorously pressed, he must suffer. 

My operations during the week of the battle of Gettysburg 
are summarized in the following report to the Secretary of War: 

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 7, 1863. 

SIR: I herewith submit a brief report of operations in the Mili 
tary Railway Department for the last week. 

On Monday, June 29, acting under Special Orders 286, a copy of 
which is inclosed, I repaired to Baltimore intending to join General 
Meade at Frederick and ascertain the condition and requirements of the 
Army of the Potomac. 

Finding the communications broken both by rail and telegraph, 
and the road near Sykesville in the possession of the enemy, I concluded 
to proceed to Harrisburg, ascertain the precise condition of affairs, then 
work my way by some means to General Meade and inform him what de- 
jrree of assistance and cooperation he might expect from the Pennsyl 
vania forces. 

Owing to the interruptions of travel, I proceeded to Harrisburg 
via Reading, arrived in that city Tuesday morning, spent several hours 
with Governor Curtin and Thomas A. Scott, and learned the position 
of affairs. 

I had written to the Governor from Falmouth soon after the battle 
of Chancellorsville, informing him that the enemy would soon be in 
Pennsylvania, and made suggestions of means proper to be resorted to 
to impede his progress and protect the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

I found that Colonel Scott had been very active and efficient, and 
that the Pennsylvania Railroad had been as well protected as the short 
time would permit. 

Very extensive arrangements had been made to procure informa 
tion from scouts, and I saw clearly that instead of attacking Harrisburg, 
an exceedingly rapid concentration of the enemy s forces had been go 
ing on that day tending towards Gettysburg, evidently designed to fall 
upon and crush in detail the Army of the Potomac before it could fully 
concentrate or its new commander get it well in hand. 

I at once telegraphed to General Halleck and to General Schenck 
and suggested that an engine be run from Baltimore to Westminster 
with express, and a mounted courier be dispatched to General Meade. 


The dispatch was received and it helped to confirm the correctness 
of information derived from other sources. It came from the rear of 
the enemy, while other information could only be derived from the front. 

Wednesday I returned to Baltimore and proceeded to the Relay 
House on the Northern Central Railroad. I found the Western Mary 
land Railroad entirely without equipment or facilities for the business 
to be thrown immediately upon it. It had no experienced officers, no 
water stations, sidings or turntables, or wood for a business exceeding 
three or four trains per day, while the necessities of the service required 
thirty trains per day to be passed over it. I had engines and cars sent 
from Alexandria with full sets of hands. A train of sawed and split 
wood and a supply of buckets was also forwarded. Tanks were filled 
by dipping water from the streams, and with other arrangements re 
quired by the circumstances of the case we were enabled to provide for 
a transportation of 1,500 tons per day each way. In two days the army 
was supplied not only with everything required, but with an excess which 
has been left for the use of the hospitals. 

The Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac informed 
me that their supplies had at no time become so low that they could not 
have been stretched over three days, and on Sunday, when the pursuit 
of the enemy commenced, they had more than they wished to carry 
with them. 

After organizing the transportation on the Western Maryland 
Railroad and leaving it in charge of Adna Anderson, Esq., the efficient 
Chief Engineer of Construction, I proceeded to Hanover with a construc 
tion train, passed over the Littlestown branch; reconstructed a bridge 
that had been broken down; found General Sickles [who was wounded] 
without means of transportation; arranged to have him sent immedi 
ately to Washington; returned to Hanover and switched off on Gettys 
burg Branch; proceeded to Oxford, where a large bridge across the 
Conewago had been burned; decided on mode of repair; set the gangs 
at work, returned to Oxford and dispatched train to junction for more 
men and materials. 

The next morning I left instructions with foreman after finishing 
the Conewago bridge, to proceed to next bridge, repair it, and work on 
to Gettysburg, unless he received word from me that the enemy, who 
were on the road near Gettysburg the previous afternoon, were still 
there. I then procured a buggy and proceeded over the turnpike to 
Gettysburg, finding no enemy except wounded at the farmhouses, the 
last having retreated the previous evening. 

After about three hours with General Meade and other officers at 
Headquarters, I returned to Oxford, and after completing the railroad 
to Gettysburg, returned to Baltimore Sunday night after a very active 
week, in which my Corps, both in construction and transportation, per 
formed services of very great importance. I am particularly indebted 
to A. Anderson, Esq., Chief Engineer, for his sound judgment and effi 
ciency; also to J. N. Du Barry, Superintendent of Northern Central 
Railroad, for his active cooperation. I have presented to him, as you 
directed, the thanks of your Department. 

The Construction Corps is still at work on the bridges of the North 
ern Central Railroad, of which nineteen were destroyed, and in two 
days more I expect that communication with Harrisburg will be re 

I cannot speak in terms of too strong commendation of the Corps 
for Reconstruction and Transportation. No department of the military 


service is of more importance than that which is charged with con 
structing, reopening and maintaining communications and forwarding 
supplies. Volunteers have always been ready for any service, however 
dangerous. At the second battle of Manassas General Kearney desired 
me to run a pilot engine over the road, in advance of his troop trains, 
after a train had been fired upon by a large force of the enemy, and men 
were found to perform the service without hesitation. 

Employes of the Transportation Department have remained at 
stations long after they had been evacuated by the military in retreat, 
and have brought away stores to save them from the enemy. At the 
battle of Fredericksburg a small force of carpenters, under E. C. Smeed 
and G. W. Nagle, superintendents of bridge construction, worked for 
nearly half a day under fire, until their ropes were cut, the pulleys 
smashed, and the timbers knocked about with shells. A military force 
of 200 men, which had been detailed to assist, straggled off soon after 
the action commenced, not leaving a single man. 

These men are not in a position to acquire military distinction 
or rewards, but I would fail in my duty if I omitted to signify to you my 
high appreciation of the labors, services, courage and fidelity of the 
Corps for Construction and Transportation in the Department of II. S. 
Military Eailroads, and suggest that some recognition of their services 
would be a great encouragement to men who so richly deserve it. 
Very respectfully submitted, 


In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, 

Secretary of War. 

July 7, 1863, General Halleck to General Meade: 

I have seen your dispatch to General Couch of 4:40 p. M. You 
are perfectly right. Push forward and fight Lee before he can cross 
the Potomac. 

July 8, 1863, General Halleck to General Meade : 

There is reliable information that the enemy is crossing at Will- 
iamsport. The opportunity to attack his divided forces should not be 
lost. The President is urgent and anxious that your army should move 
against him by forced marches. 

July 8, 1863, General Meade to General Halleck, 3 p. M. : 

My army is and has been making forced marches short of rations 
and barefooted. One Corps marched yesterday and last night over 
thirty miles. 

July 8, 1863, General Halleck to General Meade: 

You will have sufficient forces to render your victory certain. My 
only fear now is that the enemy may escape by crossing the river. 

WASHINGTON CITY, July 7, 1863. 
Brigadier-General Haupi, in Charge of Railroads. 

GENERAL: The following is a copy of telegram sent you on the 
4th inst., viz. : 

Adams Express, by Mr. Shoemaker, Superintendent, proposes to organize and send 
forward a hospital corps to assist in caring for and removing the wounded with stores, 


supplies, men, vehicles and spring wagons. They ask transportation to Westminster by 
Summit Railway for men and material. The Secretary of War has consented, and referred 
them to you for such transportation as can be furnished by rail without interfering with 
forwarding of supplies which the army needs to enable it to pursue the enemy advising 
them at the same time that probably the best and speediest route will be with their spring 
wagons over the turnpike roads from Baltimore to Westminster. Also, that latest reports 
show eleven hundred (1100) ambulances with the Army of the Potomac. 

Let nothing interfere with the supply of rations to the men and grain for the horses. 
By order of the Secretary of War. 

(Signed) M. C. MEIGS, 

Quartermaster General. 
By order of Quartermaster General. 

Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

Colonel and Assistant Quartermaster General. 

PLANE No. 4, MD., July 8, 1863. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton: 

The blockade at Frederick is raised. Everything now works 
smoothly. I am on my way to Harrisburg to open the Cumberland Val 
ley Railroad, which is now very necessary for army operations. 


A telegram to M. 0. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, dated 
Frederick, July 8, 1863, announced that a train blockade at that 
point had been relieved ; that fifteen trains had been returned, "and 
I am needed here no longer." Also this : 

I will return immediately to Harrisburg and pass through the line 
to Hagerstown as fast as we can get possession. We should be able to 
capture many prisoners and take wagons and ambulances and perhaps 
artillery before the enemy can cross the river. The late rains and bad 
roads will help us, but I do not believe we can prevent Lee s army from 
crossing. I could build trestle-bridges of round sticks and floor with 
fence rails. It is too much to assume the rebels cannot do the same.* 

Other suggestions were made with the request that if General 
Meigs concurred in their expediency, he should talk the matter 
over with General Halleck. I did not wish to appear officious by 
too frequent suggestions to my superior officers. 

Under date July 8, 1863, 3 P. M., General Meade telegraphed 
General Halleck : 

My information as to the crossing of the enemy does not agree 
with that just received in your dispatch. His whole force is in position 
between Funkstown and Williamsport. 

My army is and has been making forced marches, short of rations 
and barefooted. One Corps marched yesterday and last night thirty 

This statement that the army was short of rations and bare 
foot is in direct conflict with the report of the Chief Quartermaster 
that their supplies had at no time become so low that they could 
not have been stretched over three days, and, on Sunday, July 5, 

* NOTE. This refers to a remark made to me by General Meade on Sunday 
morning, July 5, that the enemy had no pontoon trains, that the river was up and 
he could not cross. He did not cross until the 14th, during which time he had ample 
time to construct bridges, in fact, double the time required. 


when the pursuit of the enemy commenced, they had more than 
they wished to carry with them. 

As the Chief Quartermaster was the officer whose duty it was 
to know the condition of the supplies, and as the amount was so 
large on the 5th that it was necessary to leave a surplus for the 
use of the hospitals, and as the reconstruction of the railroad to 
Gettysburg was completed by noon Sunday, July 5, and trains run 
ning constantly to Baltimore and Washington, it is difficult to 
understand how the army could be barefoot and out of rations on 
the 8th. * 

If some Corps or Brigade happened to be short, it must have 
resulted from inequalities of distribution, which could have been 
remedied quickly and easily. Besides, in moving towards the line 
of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Meade would have been moving 
towards and not from his proper base of supplies. 

HANOVER, July 9, 1863, 1 :20 p. M. 
General M. 0. Meigs: 

I am on my way to Gettysburg again. Find things in great con 
fusion. Eoad blocked ; cars not unloaded ; stores ordered to Gettysburg, 
where they stand for a long time, completely preventing all movement 
there ; ordered back without unloading ; wounded lying for hours without 
ability to carry them off; all because the simple rule of promptly un 
loading and returning cars is violated. 

I have ordered my track gangs from Alexandria to Gettysburg, 
to be sent to Chambersburg by wagon, to repair Hagerstown road. 

Brigadier- General. 

SOUTH MOUNTAIN, July 10, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

The enemy is in force at Hagerstown. We move towards that 
place to-day. General Meade wishes you to refer to General Couch 
for information as to affairs north of that place; we only know that 
the enemy is there. I hope Generals Couch and Smith will push up 
rapidly and vigorously; now is the time. 



CHAMBERSBURG, 8 p. M., July 11, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

It is now reasonably certain that the railroad must be put in order 
to Hagerstown as quickly as possible. Send your best forces. The 
enemy evacuated Hagerstown last night and our forces will certainly 
move to Hagerstown or beyond. 


WASHINGTON, D. C., July 11, 1863. 
General R. Ingalls, Headquarters Army of the Potomac: 

The Northern Central Railroad through to Harrisburg will not J 
be opened before Tuesday. With great exertion I have impressed four 
teams, and my force of 180 trackmen is now started to march to Cham 
bersburg. The report of damages leads me to expect great difficulty 



in procuring materials to reconstruct the Hagerstown road. I go to 
Chambersburg to-morrow, and will spare no efforts to open the com 


July 13, 1863, General Halleck to General Meade, 9: 30 P. M.: 

Yours of 5 P, M. received. You are strong enough to attack and 
defeat the enemy before he can effect a crossing. Act upon your own 
judgment and make your Generals execute your orders. Call no coun 
cil of war. It is proverbial that councils of war never fight. Rein 
forcements are pushed on "as rapidly as possible. Do not let the enemy 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 13, 1863. 
General M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, Washington: 

I am engaged with a part of my Construction Corps in reconstruct 
ing the Hagerstown Railroad. Ten miles have been destroyed and ties 
burned. While engaged on Northern Central, Western Maryland and 
Gettysburg roads. I requested T. A. Scott to send forces from Pennsyl 
vania Railroad to reconstruct road to Hagerstown, and get iron wherever 
Jhe could find it. We could not send it from Alexandria in time. 400 
tons of rails have been procured from Cambria. An account will be 
kept of work and materials on each road, to be charged against trans 
portation bills. Any iron not used can be returned. 


CHAMBERSBURG, July 13, 1863. 
D. J. Morrell, Johnstown, Pa.: 

The Government must have the iron. Please send it on without 
delay. The reopening of the Hagerstown Railroad in the shortest time 
possible is an imperative military necessity. 

Brigadier- General. 

July 13, 1863. 
A. Anderson, Hanover; J. H. Devereux, Alexandria: 

Send immediately twenty-five yoke of our oxen with yokes, chains, 
drivers, and attendants. Put them in cars on receipt of this and for 
ward them by special train to Chambersburg, by most expeditious route. 
Ten miles of track on Hagerstown road have been destroyed. We must 
cut and haul ties, and no transportation to be had in the country. 
Show this telegram to railroad superintendents, and ask them to hurry 
the oxen along, 


CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
General R. Ingalls, Headquarters Army of the Potomac: 

We have a sweet time reconstructing Hagerstown road. Rain or 
drizzle all the time ; men work but accomplish little ; several bridges on 
Northern Central Railroad twice carried away since we commenced 
to reconstruct them. We started a steam saw-mill yesterday; run it 
day and night; make cross-ties of slabs, planks anything we can get. 
Telegraph poles between this place and Hagerstown cut down and 
burned; no poles or teams to be had. Line must be reconstructed from 
Hagerstown end. To-day I suppose the Northern Central Railroad will 


be finished, when the balance of my force, with tools and material, will 
be able to get here ; the work will then progress very rapidly. I marched 
my track force of 180 men across mountain; they are doing good ser 
vice, but want tools and transportation. Send me a telegram every 
afternoon giving position of affairs. 

xi. jLJ-AU-lr -L , 

Brigadier- General. 

On July 14, 1863, General Meade reported to General Hal- 
leek that upon advancing his lines he found the enemy s position 

On July 14, 1863, General Halleck to General Meade, 1 
p. M. : 

The enemy should be pursued and cut up wherever he may have 
gone. This pursuit may or may not be upon the rear or flank, as circum 
stances may require. The inner flank towards Washington presents 
the greatest advantages. Supply yourself from the country as far as 
possible. I cannot advise details, as I do not know where Lee s army 
is, nor where your pontoon bridges are. I need hardly say to you that 
the escape of Lee s army without another battle has created great dis 
satisfaction in the mind of the President, and it will require an active 
and energetic pursuit on your part to remove the impression that it has 
not been sufficiently active heretofore.* 

[Translated cipher.] 

WASHINGTON, July 14, 1863, 3 p. M. 
Brigadier-General Haupt: 

Withdraw all your Construction Corps from Northern Central Bail- 
road and bring them as quickly as possible to Alexandria. Lee has 
crossed the Potomac. M _ ft ^^ 

Quartermaster General. 

July 14, 1863. 
General M. C. Meigs : Quartermaster-General, Washington: 

Construction Corps will be ordered immediately back to Alex 
andria. This movement is precisely as I expected and predicted. I 
did not see how we could prevent the enemy from crossing. It is now 
of the greatest importance to occupy the gaps of the Blue Ridge and 
push forces ahead to secure any bridges on the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad that may still remain from destruction. 


CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
D. J, Morrellj Johnstown: 

No iron will be required; the movement of the army renders the 
reconstruction of Hagerstown road unnecessary. I have requested T. 
A. Scott to return all that you have delivered. 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

* NOTE. This was the dispatch that induced Meade to ask to be relieved. 
The word "disappointment" was substituted for "dissatisfaction" in subsequent cor 


CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
General R. Ingalls: 

The Winchester Eoad cannot be relied upon for any transportation 
whatever. The rail is strap iron, the supports rotten. The lighter en 
gines run off the track continually. I am moving my whole force to 
Alexandria. You cannot catch Lee by following in his rear. The bridges 
on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad which are not burned should 
be saved if possible; also on Manassas Gap Eailroad. 

Brigadier- General. 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
J. N. Bu Barry, Harrisburg: 

Send the construction forces, tools and material, back to Alexandria 
with all possible expedition. 

Brigadier- General. 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
A. Anderson, Esq., Hanover: 

Turn over your charge to W. W. Wright and return to Alexandria 
with your whole force with all possible expedition. 

Brigadier- General. 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
E. C. Smeed, G. W. Nevin, Bridgeport: 

Return to Alexandria with all your men, tools and material with 
out delay. Apply for transportation immediately. 

Brigadier- General. 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
Colonel D. C. McCallum, Washington, D. C. : 

Construction Corps, tools and material ordered to repair to Alex 
andria. Assist in providing transportation by special trains. Order 
back oxen if they have been forwarded. 

Brigadier- General. 

CHAMBERSBURG, July 14, 1863. 
A. Anderson, Hanover: 

I would like to leave Gettysburg to-morrow about noon and run 
through to Baltimore the same evening. Can it be arranged without 


On July 14, 1863, General O. O. Howard reports that the 
rebels crossed, infantry and cavalry, at a ford just above Williams- 
port. The ford was reported to be from four to four and a half 
feet ; also that they constructed pontoons at a point where there was 
lumber and floated the bridge to Falling Waters, where the great 
est portion of the army crossed over. 


On July 14, General Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster, tele 
graphed General Meigs to ask me to put the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad in order, adding: "It will be utterly fruitless to move 
this army down the Winchester Valley." A similar telegram was 
sent direct to me. 



July 15, 1863, 9 A. M., President Lincoln, in reply to a tele 
gram from General Simon Cameron, said : 

Your dispatch of yesterday received. Lee was already across the 
river when you sent it. 

I would give much to be relieved of the impression that Meade, 
Couch, Smith and all, since the battle of Gettysburg, have striven only 
to get Lee over the river without another fight. Please tell me if you 
know who was the one Corps commander who was for fighting in the 
council of war. 

On July 14, 1863, General Meade to General Halleck, 2:30 
p. M. : 

Having performed my duty conscientiously and to the best of my 
ability, the censure of the President, conveyed in- your dispatch of 
1 P. M. this day is, in my judgment, so undeserved that I feel compelled 
most respectfully to ask to be immediately relieved from the command 
of this army. 

July 16, 1863. 
General H. Haupt, Superintendent Military Railroads: 

Your dispatch to General Ingalls received. General Meade says 
that as soon as this army crosses the Potomac his cavalry will be sent 
to guard the gaps in the Blue Eidge. General Ingalls has gone to 
Washington to-day. 

Chief Quartermaster. 


July 16, 1863. 
Brigadier-General H. Haupt, Superintendent Military Railroads: 

Your dispatch is received. I am directed by the Major-General 
Commanding to say that his bridges are not yet completed, but that 
when finished, he will pass over his cavalry and whole army, and give 
protection to the bridges your dispatch refers to. 


Chief of Staff. 

from President Lincoln to General Halleck. July 20, 

Seeing General Meade s dispatch of yesterday to yourself, causes 
me to fear that he supposes the Government here is demanding of him to 
bring on a general engagement with Lee as soon as possible. I am claim 
ing no such thing of him. In fact, my judgment is against it; which 



judgment, of course, I will yield if yours and his are contrary. If he 
could not safely engage Lee at Williamsport, it seems absurd to suppose 
he can safely engage him now when he has scarcely more than two-thirds 
the force he had at Williamsport, while it must be that Lee has been 
reinforced. True, I advised General Meade to pursue Lee across the 
Potomac, hoping, as has proved true, that he would thereby clear the , 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and get some advantages by harassing him 
on his retreat. Those being past, I am unwilling he should now get into 
a general engagement on the impression that we here are pressing him, 
and I would be glad for you to so inform him, unless your own judg 
ment is against it. 


ALEXANDRIA, July 20, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Following just received from General King: 

FAIBFAX STATION, July 20, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Yours just received. My Headquarters are now at Fairfax Court House, and my 
main force is there. I will furnish any guard you wish if you will let me know when and 
where they are wanted. How far is the road now in running order? Have you sufficient 
guards now for your trains and working parties? 

Brigadier- General. 

So far the guard furnished is sufficient. If more soldiers are 
needed to-morrow, we will ask for them. The General knows we are 
pushing ahead, I suppose, and whether we should meet our troops at 
Manassas. If not, would it not be well to have a force advanced there 
from Fairfax? The third bridge is completed over Pope s head, and 
workmen are on the fourth. 



July 21, 1863, 11:30 A. M. 
General Haupt, Chief of Construction, Washington, D. C. : 

Colonel Lowell started at daylight from Centreville, to reconnoiter 
in the direction of Manassas and also towards Thoroughfare Gap. He 
took all our spare cavalry with him. You may hear from him on your 
way. I can furnish you an infantry guard, one or two companies, if you 
desire it, from the regiment now at Fairfax Station. I will direct the 
Colonel to follow your instructions in this respect. 


July 22, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Shall I send construction force towards Warrenton Junction, fol 
lowing General Gregg, or wait at Manassas for the present? 


My answer was that "the construction can follow General 


WASHINGTON, July 23, 1863. 
Brigadier-General Gregg: 

Your dispatch is received. I will communicate with General Hal- 
leek and arrange to have the railroad bridge guarded by infantry. The 
protection of the railroad requires that the gaps of the Blue Ridge and 


fords of the Occoquaii be carefully guarded. If your force is insuffi 
cient for this service, it should be performed by others. If you make a 
reconnoissance to Culpepper, please inform me as early as practicable 
of the condition of the road and bridges. If any bridges are destroyed, 
we will at once, on being advised, take measures to reconstruct them. 

Brigadier- General. 

ALEXANDRIA DEPOT, July 26, 1863. 
General Herman Haupt: 

No. 1 train this A. M. found, when a mile and a half east of Burkes, 
a rail taken out of the track and horseshoes on rail. Engine was re 
versed and brakes put hard down. Engine jumped the break and, with 
two cars, passed on. Had it been rail on opposite side, the whole train 
would have run off the track down a twelve-foot bank. Before train 
was checked twelve rebels in grey and blue coats and pants, and all with 
guns, pushed out of bushes, whilst the guard of the Fourth Delaware 
then took a hand and, after a few shots, jumped off the train and had 
a foot-race through the woods after the rebels. One fat rebel par 
ticularly distinguished himself in getting out of sight. The guard saved 
the train and its convoy, and Providence saved a smash-up which, for 
some time, would have prevented the Army of the Potomac from receiv 
ing supplies. 

It is pitiful that a handful of rebels can be allowed the chance of 
so retarding the progress of our army in such measure as an accident 
like this might cause. I earnestly ask that 200 men be at once sta 
tioned from Accotink to Burkes. General Meade has ordered the road 
repaired at once to the river, and the Rappahannock bridge rebuilt. 
All stores and material have been forwarded to-day on regular time. 


WASHINGTON, July 27, 1863. 

Received 10:20 A. M. 
General R. Ingalls, Headquarters Army of the Potomac: 

Another attempt was made to throw off and capture our trains near 
Burkes yesterday. Rails were taken out and horseshoes placed upon 
the track. Fortunately the rails were taken up on the inside and not 
on the outside of the curve, and the train was not thrown off. Twelve 
rebels in grey and blue costumes, armed with guns, made their appear 
ance and were chased by the train guard, but none were captured. 

These attempts to throw off trains are made daily, and unless the 
practice can be broken up, there is no security in your communications. 
To operate the road with reasonable security, we must have the gaps of 
the Blue Ridge so occupied that Lee s cavalry cannot get through, the 
fords of the Occoquan guarded, the country patrolled by cavalry, and 
notice given to the inhabitants that in case of any further attempts to 
disturb track or telegraph, all able-bodied residents within ten miles 
will be arrested and placed under guard. 

Please communicate with General Meade and have an order issued, 
giving notice to the inhabitants, something to this effect : 

"Notice is hereby given that if any attempt shall be made to 
destroy the track, bridges, or telegraph, or any of the lines of railroad 
used by the Army of the Potomac, the residents in the vicinity for a 
distance of ten miles will be held responsible in person and property, 


and all the able-bodied citizens arrested. If the offenders can be dis 
covered, their punishment will be death." 

I will endeavor to see you to-morrow. Would it be well to search 
houses and seize arms? This, I know, is an extreme measure, but I 
am confident that those who appear to be farmers during the day are the 
parties who injure us at night. 


ALEXANDRIA, July 23, 1863, 11:20 A. M. 
General Rufus King, Cenireville : 

Yesterday morning, on returning from a reconnoissance to White 
Plains, I passed the western-bound train at Burkes about 5 A. M. Con 
ductor reported that his train had been fired into at Accotink, eight 
miles from Alexandria. As I had no train guard with me, I returned 
to Fairfax, procured two companies, and scoured the woods about Acco 
tink, but found no enemy. Fresh horse-tracks, however, were numer 
ous. I learn this morning that before the train passed rails had been 
taken out and obstructions placed upon the track by these guerrillas, 
but some of the track men had seen and repaired the damage. 

These men are supposed to be part of Mosby s gang. I heard of 
them the evening on which I was over the Gap road as being at Wolf 
Run Shoals, and I also heard of the proximity of Mosby s men at Thor 
oughfare and other points. 

To enable us to operate the road with any security, we must have 
cavalry pickets along the Occoquan and at the Gaps of the Blue Ridge ; 
also patrols through the country. Every citizen of suitable age for 
draft, who is not in the army, should be regarded with suspicion and 
closely watched, for I am told that many of them have been exempted 
from draft on condition of joining Mosby s band, who are guerrillas by 
night and farmers by day. Our trains will be run as much as possible 
by daylight and with train guards, but with a heavy business we cannot 
avoid running at night, and train guards afford but little protection. 

Please send copy of this to General Gregg. I wish to examine the 
line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad as far as protection can be y 
afforded to our railroad forces. Can you, or can General Gregg ascer- 
tain, by a cavalry reconnoissance, the condition of the railroad and 
bridges between Culpepper and Manassas? 

In Charge of Military Railroads. 

The following reply was received from General King: 

CENTREVILLE, July 23, 1863, 5:30 p. M. 
Brigadier-General Herman Haupt, Washington: 

Your dispatch is received. I will employ my cavalry as far as 
possible in scouting along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Rail- 
road as far as Bull Run, and also through the country between this " 
point and the ridge. They will be instructed to watch narrowly all 
suspected persons, and to look out especially for the guerrillas who make 
up Mosby s gang. I have not force enough at my command to make 
the reconnoissance you wish towards Culpepper, but I have sent a copy 
of your message to General Gregg, who is at Briscoe with a brigade of 
cavalry, and requested him to do it. 

Brigadier- General. 


FAIRFAX STATION, July 23, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

I will go out again to White Plains, if your road there is in work 
ing condition. I would like to leave early in the morning from foot of 
14th street, end of Long Bridge. Will you please inform me if I can 
be sent through quickly on a special, and at what hour I must start? It 
7 is very probable now that we will wish to begin using the O. & A. R. R. 
as well as the Manassas Gap. I wish to send grain now to Gainesville. 

Brigadier- General, 

Chief Quartermaster. 

ALEXANDRIA DEPOT, July 27, 1863. 
Colonel D. C. McCallum: 

To post you I would report: In addition to reconstructing road 
from Alexandria to Warrenton and from Manassas to White Plains, we 
have forwarded to the Army of the Potomac in this last opening five hun 
dred and thirty loaded cars, sending to Warrenton Junction, forty miles, 
yesterday, one hundred and twenty-seven loaded cars, and to-day one 
hundred and fifty-nine loaded cars. Part of these have been sent from 
Warrenton Junction to Warrenton, but the branch track is still bad and 

Last night two engines were three hours getting ten cars up the 
branch. The army reached Warrenton before the road was opened be 
yond Manassas, short and out of everything. One hundred thousand 
men and eight thousand animals are to be fed daily, but they desire 
V ten days rations to be sent at once, at eight tons to the car, and most 
of them had ten tons. We sent to-day twelve hundred and seventy-two 
tons with the last train this P. M. We cleared every loaded car from the 
yard and they have reached Warrenton Junction, but the branch track 
detains part of them there, and with all other demands, that of press 
ing the road forward and reconstructing Rappahannock bridge is not 
the least in importance. 

J. H. D. 


July 27, 1863, 1 p. M. 
General Haupt: 

Your dispatch was read to General Meade, who said he had com 
municated with General Heintzelman to know at what points his troops 
would guard the roads; soon as informed, he will cause them to be 
properly protected within his lines. It would certainly seem to be the 
province of General Heintzelman to guard them as far as Fairfax. 
Your suggestion for protection ought to be acted upon. It is too late to 
act after an accident, and yet that is our usual practice. I think this 
army will protect the roads without failure this side of Centreville and 
Manassas. General Meade wishes to have the bridges repaired over the 
Rappahannock as soon as possible. 

Brigadier- General. 


July 27, 1863. 
General Haupt: 

Arrangements have already been made to take possession of the 
south bank at the Rappahannock Station as soon as the river is fordable 


or the pontoons arrive, which have been ordered up by rail. Meantime, 
the bridge has been secured from any further interference by the enemy. 
As soon as we are on the south bank, A. Anderson, Chief Engineer of 
Construction, and yourself will be informed. 
By order of General Meade. 


Chief Engineer. 

July 28 7 1863, General Halleck wrote a conciliatory letter to 
General Meade commending his action in the battle of Gettys 
burg, and stated that he should not have been surprised or vexed 
at the President s disappointment at the escape of Lee s army. 
He thought that Lee s defeat was so certain that he felt no little 
impatience at his unexpected escape. He assures General Meade 
that he had lost none of the confidence which he felt when he 
recommended him for the command. 



THE subsequent operations during my connection with the 
service were of the usual character, and are not of sufficient 
v interest or importance to be reported in detail. Bridges were 
destroyed and reconstructed, that over Bull Run for the seventh 
time ; trains troubled by guerrillas ; contraband articles smuggled 
into camps by sutlers and others, etc. The following served to 
check guerrilla operations: 


July 30, 1863. 

The numerous depredations committed by citizens, or rebel soldiers 
in disguise, harbored and concealed by citizens, along the Orange & 
Alexandria Railroad and within our lines, call for prompt and ex 
emplary punishment. Under the instructions of the Government, there 
fore, every citizen against whom there is sufficient evidence of his hav 
ing engaged in these practices, will be arrested and confined for pun 
ishment, or put beyond the lines. 

The people within ten miles of the railroad are notified that they 
will be held responsible in their persons and property, for any injury 
done to the road, trains, depots, or stations by citizens, guerrillas, or 
persons in disguise; and in case of such injury they will be impressed 
as laborers to repair all damages. 

If these measures should not stop such depredations, it will become 
the unpleasant duty of the undersigned, in the execution of his instruc 
tions, to direct that the entire inhabitants of the district of country 
along the railroad be put across the lines, and their property taken for 
Government uses. GEQ. G. MEADE, 

Major- General Commanding. 

I applied for and received authority to arm, drill and make 
the Military Railroad organization, to some extent, self -protective, 
and procured action regulating passes, transportation of supplies 
and newsboys. 

GERMANTOWN, August 1, 1863, 3 :10 p. M. 
Brigadier-General Haupt: 

I am instructed by the Major-General Commanding to inform you 
that we hold both banks of the Rappahannock near the railroad bridge, 
and that its repair may now be commenced. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


254 Chief of Staff. 


"We had to be masters of construction as well as destruction, 
so, for the benefit of the army, I submitted a report on experi 
ments I had made to determine the most expeditious mode of 
straightening rails and destroying communications that had been 
broken by the enemy, as follows : 

WASHINGTON, D. 0., August 4, 1863. 

To Major-General H. W. Halteck, General-in-Chief United States 

GENERAL: In obedience to the instructions contained in Special 
Order, No. 286, I commenced the reconstruction of the Cumberland 
Valley and Franklin Railroads, near Chambersburg, Pa., for the purpose 
of forwarding troops and supplies to Hagerstown, to aid the armies 
operating in that vicinity. 

I found about ten miles of these roads destroyed in the manner 
usually adopted by the enemy; the cross-ties had been piled, the fence- 
rails from both sides of the road mixed with them and fired; the rails 
placed on top of these piles, and when heated, bent at various angles, 
and left in that condition. 

After experimenting for a few hours, I found that about three- 
fourths of all the damaged rails could be straightened without heating, 
and in less than one-tenth of the time required to injure them by the 
means which the enemy had adopted. The remaining fourth part could 
also be straightened and made fit for use, but not without heating. 

As a general rule, I found that all rails that had been bent with a 
curve of one foot or more radius could be straightened cold in from two 
to four minutes to each rail; while those which had been heated to a 
high degree, and bent at a sharp angle, could not be restored without 
heating and hammering. 

As the results of these experiments may be of much value to the 
public service, and avoid the delay and expense of procuring new iron, 
as has been the usual practice heretofore in the reconstruction of roads 
that have been injured by the enemy, I have caused the operations to be 
repeated and photographed, forming a series illustrative of the operation 
of reconstruction, as a sequel to the series showing the most expeditious 
and effectual modes of destruction, which formed the subject of a former 

A very rapid, effective and portable contrivance for straightening 
rails, which I used on the Hagerstown Road, consists of five blocks of 
wood, each about ten inches square and five feet long. The top block 
was notched slightly, to receive the base of the rail and cause it to lie 
with the plane of the base vertical. The pieces of scantling three by 
four or four by four, were placed across the ends. Twelve or sixteen 
men at each end would press down or relieve the pressure at the words 
of command, "down," "up." The rail was moved forward or back at the 
word of command, or turned. After a very short drill the intelligent 
contrabands, who furnished the motive power, were able to straighten a 
rail in an average of from two to three minutes sufficiently near to a 
straight line to permit it to be laid in the track, and so nearly straight 
that a continuance of the operation would not generally result in any 
improvement. The rail, after this operation, could be laid in the track 
and spiked ; it would be so nearly straight that trains could be run over 
it safely; but a short bend would always remain, w r hich could be 
removed by the jack-screw apparatus after it was in the track. 


After finishing the rails within a convenient distance, the blocks 
were carried forward to the next pile. 

By distributing the gangs, several miles of rails could be straight 
ened in a day. 

Sometimes the rails would be bent in the direction of the plane of 
the vertical rib, and be too stiff to straighten by simple pressure. In this 
case the rail was raised to the height of the head and allowed to fall on 
a cross- tie at the words of command, "ready," "drop ;" once or twice drop 
ping did not fail to take out the vertical bend. (See illustration on 
page 181). 

Another mode was used very successfully in straightening a large 
amount of bent iron at the depot in Chambersburg. In this case the 
power was applied by means of a rope attached to the end of the rail, 
forming a fulcrum. Two posts firmly planted in the ground, about two 
and one-half feet apart, would be very convenient for straightening 
rails on this plan. The rail must be supported beyond the fulcrum, or a 
bend will be formed at this point. 

When the rail is so much bent that it cannot be straightened cold, 
it should be thrown out, and no time lost in attempting to improve it. 
When the track is laid, these rails should be carried to a convenient place 
where a furnace can be prepared for heating them. Two parallel walls 
of brick, stone or even of clay, with bars laid across to hold the wood or 
coal, will answer for a furnace. When heated, the rails are laid upon a 
straightening table and hammered until the bends are removed, after 
which the rail is cooled before removal by pouring on water. 

The straightening table is prepared in a very simple manner, by 
taking a piece of timber twelve inches square, and as long as a rail, 
placing two rails base downwards on the top surface of the timber, and 
another rail base upwards between the first two; the whole being firmly 
spiked, the base of the top rail forms the plane surface on which the 
rails are straightened. 

The short bends or kinks in the rails, whether in the track or out 
of it, are readily removed by the apparatus represented in illustration on 
page 171. The pile of iron shown in the picture is a portion of that 
destroyed by the rebels on the Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad, and 
brought into Alexandria, where it now lies. A portion of this iron was 
heated and bent around trees, from which it could be removed only by 
cutting the trees down. 

This report, with the accompanying photographs,* is very respect 
fully submitted by 

Brigadier- General, 
In Charge, of United States Military Railroads. 

One of the most effective features of my plan of organization 
was approved as follows: 

WASHINGTON, August 7, 1863. 
Major-General HallecTc, General-in-Chief United States Army. 

GENERAL : The difficulty of procuring guards for the protection of 
the employes of the Military Railroad Department and for the security 

* NOTE. The Photographic Department was under the charge of Captain 
A. J. Russell, 141st Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers, a photographer and an artist who 
was specially detailed for the service at my request. After the war Captain Russell 
was for many years on the staff of artists for Leslie s Magazine. 


of the public property entrusted to their care, induces me to recommend 
that the organization be made self -protective. 

I propose to have the men formed into companies, drilled and 
armed and will proceed to carry this recommendation into effect if 
approved by you, so soon as the necessary orders are given for arms and 

Very respectfully submitted, 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 

Approved. Requisitions for arms, etc., signed by General Haupt 
will be filled. 

August 8, 1863. H. W. HALLECK, 



August 20, 1863. 
No. 78. 

1. Passes from Headquarters to be given by the Provost Marshal 
General, or by his authority. Said passes will authorize the return of the 
parties, but will not include the transportation for property beyond 
necessary personal baggage. 

2. All orders for transportation of property must be given by the 
Quartermaster s Department. 

3. Supplies for officers may be procured by sending an agent with 
a list of the articles to be obtained, signed by a General Officer and 
approved by the Provost Marshal General, or by his authority. 

4. Sutlers and their property to be entirely excluded from trans 
portation by rail for the present. 

5. Newsboys will not be permitted to travel on trains, but pack 
ages of papers may be sent to local agents, under charge of a baggage- 
master, for sale or distribution. 

6. No passes to civilians to visit the Army of the Potomac shall be 
given, except by Adjutant General of the Army, and the General in 
command of the Army of the Potomac. 

7. The principal depot quartermasters at Washington, Alexandria 
and at other depots upon the line of the road can pass officers and agents 
of their departments, and also officers and agents of other departments 
traveling on necessary public business, who can procure orders for 
transportation from them. 

8. All orders for cars must be sent to the Superintendent of the 
Military Railroad, through the proper officers of the Quartermaster s 
Department in charge of depots. 

^ 9. No officers, other than those herein specified, will be permitted 
to give passes beyond the limits of their commands. 

10. All boxes or packages sent to, or marked with the name of any 
officer shall be accompanied with an accurate list of contents, and shall 
be placed in custody of the Provost Marshal at the place of destination, 
to be delivered to the consignee upon satisfactory evidence that the 
package contains necessary supplies for his individual use and contains 
nothing else. 

11. All persons seeking transportation on any railroad shall 
present their passes for examination at the office of the Superintendent 
in that city. 


12. Provost guards at Washington, Alexandria and other stations 
will see that the foregoing orders are executed. 

13. Train guards for the protection of each train and to preserve 
order and keep off stragglers will be furnished by commander of troops 
nearest the points of departure, on requisition of Superintendent of 

By command of Major- General Meade. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 
Approved as amended. 
By order of the Secretary of War. 

Assistant Adjutant General. 


And Chief Quartermaster Army of the Potomac. 

GERMAN-TOWN; August 20, 1863. 

GENERAL: The enclosed is a copy of the order as amended by the 
Secretary of War which, of course, governs us in future. 
I am, very respectfully yours, etc., 


Brigadier- General, 
And Chief Quartermaster Army of the Potomac. 

Brigadier-General Haupt, 

Superintendent United States Military Railroads, 
Washington, D. 0. 



IK" the latter part of August G overnor John A. Andrew, of Massa 
chusetts, visited Washington and was in daily conference 
with the Secretary of War. I had many friends in his office, 
and one of the assistant secretaries informed me that I was a fre 
quent topic of conversation, and that it had been arranged that 
the Secretary should compel me to accept my commission uncondi 
tionally, and then assign me to some position that would prevent 
me from going to Massachusetts to trouble the Legislature with my 
claims for compensation for expenditures made in the construction 
of the Hoosac Tunnel. 

The Governor, notwithstanding the unanimous endorsement 
of investigating committees and in opposition to the advice of his 
Executive Council, had insisted that the work should be taken out 
of my hands and placed under the control of commissioners, and 
not a single dollar had been repaid for the expenditures I had 
made upon the work. I was willing to accept expenditures with 
simple interest, and waive all claims for profits or for damages, 
but the Governor was not willing that I should receive a cent. 

My presence in Boston during the session of the Legislature 
was a great annoyance to him, and to the Chairman of the Board 
of Commissioners, whose plans I was compelled, in self-defense, 
to criticise, and his ignorance and extravagance to expose; but 
as the Governor of Massachusetts was active and powerful in 
furnishing men and other support to the war. the Secretary of 
War was compelled to side with Andrew and sacrifice me. 

Accordingly, I soon after received the following notice: 

WASHINGTON, September 1, 1863. 

GENERAL : I do not observe on file any acceptance of your appoint 
ment as Brigadier-General. Inasmuch as the Secretary of War has 
ordered that all appointments the acceptance of which shall not have 
been filed by September 5, 1863, be taken as vacated, it becomes necessary 
to file your acceptance at once. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Assistant Adjutant General. 
Brigadier-General H. Haupt, 

Washington, D. C. 
14 261 


On the receipt of this notice, I turned to my files and found 
that my commission as Brigadier-General had been dated Sep 
tember 5, 1862, just one year before the date named, and it 
seemed evident that this General Order had been made to fit my 
particular case, I waited until September 5, and then sent the 
following letter to the Secretary: 

WASHINGTON, September 5, 1863. 
Hon. E. M. Staiiion, Secretary of War. 

SIR: I am in receipt of a communication from Colonel Hardie, 
Acting Assistant Secretary of War, informing me that all commissions 
that are not formally accepted by this date will be considered as vacated. 

I have uniformly declined to accept military rank unconditionally, 
and have given you my reasons for it. I cannot part with the control 
of my time and of my freedom of action to so great an extent as I must 
do if I accept a commission unconditionally. 

Interests involving more than a million of dollars ; the private for 
tunes of my associates and myself, my reputation as an engineer and a 
man, are in jeopardy from the efforts of active and unscrupulous 
enemies. They can only be saved by my personal exertions. 

But not even to save them, not to protect private interests were 
they tens of millions, should I suffer the country to sustain injury from 
neglect or omission of anything that I could do, or had engaged to do, 
to save it. At the same time, when I know that the public interests do 
not, and my private interests do require my attention for a short time, 
I must be at liberty to act as my judgment dictates. 

I could not, if my presence were required in Boston, resign for a 
week and be reappointed. I might not obtain a leave if I asked for it. 
I must, if I accept unconditionally, be placed in the same category as 
other officers, although not another officer in the service, perhaps, can be 
found whose acceptance has not been a benefit to him, while with me it 
would involve the loss of everything. Even while I have been in 
Washington parties in Massachusetts, to whom I have not been legally 
or equitably indebted a single dollar, have brought suit on fictitious 
claims of which I had no notice, and from my non-appearance have 
obtained judgment, taken execution and seized on personal property. 

The conduct of the State authorities, and of some of the people 
of Massachusetts interested in the Western Railroad, has been infamous, 
and I must hold myself in a position to settle accounts with my enemies 
if opportunity offers. It is probable that many times the compensa 
tion of a Brigadier-General for the time that I have been in Washington 
would not compensate me for the losses consequent upon my being here, 
if I cannot secure legislation to repair the damage. 

These losses do not disturb me greatly. I have confidence enough 
in the good sense and justice of the people of Massachusetts to believe 
that when I have time and opportunity for explanation, the wrongs done 
through misrepresentation of facts will be set right; and, if I can be 
useful to the country in no other way than by accepting a commission, 
I would put the yoke upon my neck and the fetters upon my wrists and 
labor to save the Union. But is this necessary? The members of the 
Cabinet are civilians; the Assistant Secretaries of the War and Navy 
are civilians; the chiefs of most of the bureaus are civilians; why 
cannot the Chief of the Bureau of Military Railroads be a civilian also, 


if you will clothe him with the power necessary to secure efficiency and 
prevent military interference with his duties? 

You refused my acceptance unless untrammeled with conditions, 
and I declined to accept unconditionally. My name is, I suppose, or will 
be, dropped from the rolls, where I never asked that it should be entered, 
although the appointment for meritorious services was a source of much 
gratification, and I am not ungrateful for your expressions of confidence 
in me and of obligations for what has been accomplished. 

During the whole time that I have been connected with the public 
service, now a year and a half, I have received no pay except for personal 
expenses for a portion of the time. After my last interview with you dn 
the subject, I concluded to make no more explanations and to trouble 
you no further about my account, which you had hesitated to allow, but 
to raise money from other sources, by loans or otherwise, to pay my way 
until the war was over, and then if the account was not paid, I would 
make the Government a present of the amount and retire. 

The condition of Military Railroad aifairs in the West, as appears 
from the reports of the Special Agent, is becoming worse and worse. It 
is almost too late now to apply a remedy. I hope that I will not be 
called upon at so late an hour to make the attempt. The labor would be 
excessive and the result problematical; still, I will endeavor to carry 
out your wishes, and I am willing, if you desire it, to continue my 
supervision over operations in the East where results have been attained 
with which I am much gratified. There are no longer difficulties about 
transportation, deficiencies of supplies, delays of army movements while 
waiting for stores, accidents and blockades. All these have ceased since 
my efforts have been sustained by the orders of yourself and General 
Halleck, and roads and bridges have been reconstructed in less than 
half the time ever before considered practicable. 

I repeat, that so long as I can be useful to your Department, or 
to the country in this crisis, I am willing to work, cost what it may in 
labor and sacrifice, but when my usefulness is at an end I wish to leave. 
No office in the gift of the President would tempt me to accept it as I 
am now situated, unless consideration of duty should imperatively 
require it, and when my services are not required, my time and the 
control of them I desire to use for other purposes. 

If you desire that I should continue the ambiguity that exists in 
regard to my position should be removed. You might appoint me Chief 
of a Bureau of Military Railroads. I have not had, since Pope s 
campaign, any official position. My title then was Chief of Construction 
and Transportation of the Army of Virginia. Since then I have 
appended to my signature in official communications "In charge of 
United States Military Railroads." 

Please decide whether, in your opinion, the interests of the service 
will be best promoted by my continuance or withdrawal; and if you 
wish me to continue, prescribe the position which I am to occupy, the 
authority to exercise, the powers to remedy defects and correct abuses 
with which I am to be clothed, and the geographical limits over which 
these powers are to be exercised. 

Respectfully submitted, 


A few days after the receipt of this letter the Secretary sent 
for me. He seemed to be irritated bcause I would not yield, and re- 


marked that the commission had been given to me for meritorious 
services ; that my name had been sent to the Senate by the Presi 
dent and confirmed ; that I should consider it a high honor, and that 
my refusal to accept was an act of disrespect to the President, to 
himself and to the Government ; and further, that I could not be 
paid lawfully unless the commission was accepted. 

I replied that pay was no consideration. I was losing 
many times the amount of pay by neglect of other interests. He 
could pay me from the contingent fund, if so inclined. If not, I 
could do without it ; that I did appreciate the honor conferred and 
was grateful for it. If he did not wish to make a record of any 
conditions as establishing a precedent, I was willing to rely upon 
his word. 

I represented that in the winter there was a long period of 
suspension of military operations during which my presence was 
not required. I referred to our first interview when he asked me 
to undertake the reconstruction of the Fredericksburg Railroad, 
saying that my services would only be required for a few weeks ; 
that as soon as McDowell could move Richmond would fall and the 
war be ended; and added that while I was willing to remain so 
long as my services were needed, when they were no longer needed 
he had it in his power to relieve me. The Secretary exclaimed, 
"I will relieve you at once, sir !" and soon after the following order 
was issued : 

WASHINGTON CITY, September 14, 1863. 

SIR: You are hereby relieved from further duty in the War 
V Department. 

You will turn over your office, books, papers and all other prop 
erty under your control belonging to the United States, to Colonel D. 
C. McCallum, Superintendent of Military Railroads. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Secretary of War. 
To Herman Haupt, Esq., 

In Charge of Military Railroads, 
Washington, D. C. 

The action of the Secretary occasioned much surprise. Hon. 
John Covode and other members of the Committee on the Conduct 
of the War went to the Secretary to know what it meant, but with 
out results, and efforts were made to induce the President to insist 
upon a withdrawal of Stanton s order. The President, although 
apparently regretting the action, declined to take any steps to 
reverse it. 

My retirement called forth letters of regret from Assistant 
Secretary Watson, who had always supported me, and also from 


officers in high positions, who expressed commendation in strong 
and gratifying terms. There is a letter before me now, dated Sep 
tember 27, 1863, in which I was informed that if I would use my 
pen and tell what I knew, there was a party in Congress, both in the 
Senate and House, that would bring such a pressure as to compel 
Stanton s resignation; but I had absolutely no inclination to en 
gage in such a contest, even had I believed it could succeed. 



I HE following report to the Secretary of War was my last 
official act in connection with the Bureau of United States 
Military Railroads : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 9, 1863. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

SIR : A brief review of operations in the Bureau of United States 
Military Railroads since my c^Rjiection with it is herewith respectfully 
_ submitted: 

In April, 1862, I x was summoned to Washington by a telegram from 
you, and requested to assist in the reconstruction of the railroad from 
Acquia Creek to Fredericksburg. The Army of the Potomac was at that 
time in front of Yorktown ; the Army of the Rappahannock rested near 
the Potomac ; neither could move, as was supposed, without the coopera 
tion of the other, and such cooperation was impossible without the rail 
road as a means of communication with the depots on the base of the 

The injury of the railroad consisted of the wharves and buildings 
at Acquia Creek, which had been burned; three miles of track torn up, 
the ties consumed, and rails carried south of Fredericksburg. The 
bridges across Potomac and Ackakeek Creek and the Rappahannock 
River destroyed; and two miles of strap rail in a very unsafe condition, 
i which required to be relaid. 

Although engaged at the time in a professional enterprise which 
was entirely dependent on my personal efforts for success, and although 
the protection of property and reputation, which were jeopardized by the 
hostile and unjust action of the State administration in Massachusetts, 
required ceaseless vigilance and effort, I did not feel at liberty to allow 
personal interests to stand in the way of the success of the military 
operations of the army, and believing that I could be useful, and that 
my services would not be required for a longer time than three or four 
weeks, I consented to undertake the work of reconstructing the road to 

The only laborers to be procured consisted of soldiers detailed from 
the ranks, many of them entirely unaccustomed to labor, others unwill- 
\ ing; and what was worst of all, the details would be changed daily, so 
that after spending a great part of the day in organizing the forces, the 
next day new details would be sent out and the process would have to be 

My remonstrances led to a change in this organization; a per 
manent detail was made, forming the members of a Construction Corps, 
but the men were without experience or skill, and much effort was 
required to infuse into them a proper emulation and induce efforts to 
hasten the completion of the work. The difficulties were much increased 
by the state of the weather; the rain fell almost daily, and the track 



was laid in a lake of mud ; but with all these disadvantages, the work 
was carried on day and night, light being furnished at night by means 
of lanterns, and the supply very limited at that. 

One day was lost in waiting for iron, which was supplied from 
Alexandria, but in three working days the three miles of track were 
relaid, during which time most of the ties were manufactured in the 
woods. In forwarding this work, as also on various occasions subse 
quently, very important aid was rendered by Major Barstow, of General 
McDowell s staff, now Assistant Adjutant General of the Army of the 

Ackakeek bridge was commenced on Saturday, at 2 p. M., and on 
the next day, at about the same hour, a train passed over it. This 
bridge, 120 feet long and about 30 feet high, was erected in fifteen 

In reference to the Potomac Creek bridge, General McDowell, in 
his remarks before the Court of Inquiry, uses the following language: 

"The Potomac Run bridge is a most remarkable structure. When 
it is considered that in the campaigns of Napoleon the trestle-bridges 
of more than one story, even of moderate height, were regarded as 
impracticable, and that, too, for common military roads, it is not 
difficult to understand why distinguished Europeans should express 
surprise at so bold a specimen of American military engineering. It 
is a structure which ignores all the rules and precedents of military 
science as laid down in books. It is constructed chiefly of round sticks 
cut from the woods, and not even divested of its bark; the legs of the 
trestles are braced with round poles. It is in four stories, three of 
trestles and one of crib-work. The total height from the deepest part 
of the stream to the rails is nearly 80 feet. It carries daily from ten 
to twenty heavy trains in both directions, and has withstood several 
severe freshets and storms without injury. 

"The bridge was built in May, 1862, in nine working days, during 
which time the greater part of the material was cut and hauled. It 
contains more than two million feet of lumber. The original structure 
which it replaced required as many months as this did days." 

The bridge across the Rappahannock was under the immediate 
supervision of Daniel Stone, Esq., the experienced bridge architect of 
Philadelphia. It was longer than the Potomac Creek bridge, but not 
so high. 

These structures were all completed and the road opened for use 
in about three weeks, when I expected to return to Massachusetts to 
protect my interests in that State, but General McDowell remon 
strated so earnestly against this course, and represented that my con 
tinuance with the army was essential to the success of his movements, 
that I felt it my duty to remain until after the opening of the Manassas 
Gap Road to Front Royal, to which place the Army of the Rappa- 
hannock had been ordered for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of 
General Jackson. 

By this time the efficiency of the Construction Corps was so much"" " 
increased that in June, 1862, they reconstructed five bridges of from 
60 to 120 feet span in one day, and in three days opened the Manassas, * 
Gap Railroad to Front Royal, reaching that place with a continuous" ** 
track and reinforcements of 5,000 men only one day after the advance 
of the army had arrived there by forced marches. 

Soon after General McDowell was relieved, and General Pope 
placed in command. This officer did not seem to place so high a value 


on my labors as his predecessor. He gave me no instructions, and 
having declined to accept a commission, I returned to Massachusetts, 
after leaving my address at the War Department, with the informa 
tion that if my services were again required for any temporary duty I 
could be sent for, but that the condition of my affairs would not permit 
me to connect myself permanently with the army, or be absent for long 
periods of time from Massachusetts. 

I was not long permitted to be absent. General Pope tried the ex 
periment of operating a Military Railroad, and the results were unsat 
isfactory. In about ten days from my departure I received a telegram 
from the War Department requesting my immediate return, with a 
declaration that without my aid to organize and manage the operations 
of the Military Railroads it was impossible to keep the army supplied. 

I again dropped all professional and business engagements, 
reported at the War Department, and proceeded to the Headquarters of 
General Pope, near Cedar Mountain. The road was in a state of 
blockade, very few trains moving, everything in great confusion; the 
primary cause being military interference. General Pope issued a 
stringent order, in terms which I suggested, forbidding officers of any 
rank to interfere with the management of the roads. Rules were made 
and enforced, punctuality insisted upon, and in two or three days 
regularity was again restored./ Since this time, with a single exception, 
when an officer of high rank undertook to place me in arrest for 
respectfully declining to obey orders which he had no right to give, 
the operations of the Military Railroads in Virginia have been con- 

5 ducted with extraordinary regularity and exemption from accidents; 
and no army movements have ever been delayed a single hour for want 
of any supplies or transportation which it was the province of the 
railroads to furnish. 

While the Army of Virginia was in position behind the Rappa- 
hannock the enemy, in superior numbers, succeeded in turning its right 
flank. The first information of this movement was conveyed by an 
attack of Stuart s cavalry at Catlett s, August 22, 1862, followed soon 
nfter by an attempt to capture several of our trains at Bri stow. ^Unfor 
tunately, General Pope had ordered a large portion of the rolling stock 
to the front, from which exposed position it could not be withdrawn 
after the break in the communications in the rear, and as a conse 
quence seven first-class locomotives fell into the hands of the enemy 
and 277 freigbt cars were destroyed. 

During the battle which followed great exertions were made to 
preserve and maintain intact the communications with the army. 
Troops were sent by rail to hold bridges across Bull Run, supplies were 
forwarded, and General Pope notified at what station his wagons could 
receive them; telegraph operators and scouts were sent out to make and 
report observations, which were promptly communicated to Headquar 
ters at Washington. Services of great value were rendered by the 
officers and employes of the Military Railway Bureau, both in trans 
portation and construction. They remained at stations loading cars 
and carrying away stores long after the retreat of our forces and the 
departure of the guards had left them without any military protection 
whatever, and when the enemy on the common roads was in advance 
of the positions so occupied. They volunteered for the service and 
succeeded in reconstructing a bridge and bringing off General Taylor 
and the wounded men of his command at Bull Run after the General 
in command, with whom I was directed to consult, had declined to send 


a military force for this purpose in consequence of the risk. Night and 
day, during this period of intense excitement, the railway employes 
remained at their posts, performing uncomplainingly the most dangerous 
duties without rest or regular food. From the Superintendent to the 
lowest grade of operatives, they are all entitled to much credit for the 
important services rendered on that occasion. 

The retreat of General Pope was followed by the invasion of 
Maryland and raids into Pennsylvania; operations on the railroads of 
Virginia were suspended, but some employment was found for the 
Construction Corps in assisting in rebuilding the bridge across the 
Potomac at Harper s Ferry, for which we were fortunately in a condi 
tion to aid the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company by furnishing 

The battles of South Mountain and Antietam were followed by the 
retreat of the enemy and the reoccupatioii of the country north of the 
Rappahannock by our forces. The Orange & Alexandria Railroad was 
soon repaired and put in running order. Great doubts existed as to the 
ability of this road to supply the army, which then consisted of the two 
Armies of Virginia and the Potomac united; but with the efficient and 
cordial cooperation of the Chief Quartermaster, General Ingalls, so large 
an amount of stores was forwarded that during the brief sojourn at 
Warrenton nearly four thousand tons were accumulated in excess of 
requirements, which were afterwards brought back and sent to Acquia 
Creek. About two thousand tons were forwarded daily while the army 
remained in the vicinity of Warrenton, and this business was accom 
modated without accident or delay. This result is most extraordinary, 
when the difficulties of operating a Military Railroad are considered, 
but it is due chiefly to the fact that the stringent orders of General 
Halleck prevented any military interference with the running of the 
trains, and the excellent arrangements of General Ingalls secured the 
prompt return of cars. 

Anticipating the necessity of a change in the line of operations 
to the Fredericksburg Railroad, I had, with the approval of General 
Halleck, ordered a million feet of lumber, which very opportunely com 
menced to arrive on the very day when work was resumed at Acquia 
Creek. The reconstruction and opening of the railriad between Acquia 
Creek and Falmouth was accomplished in a very brief period of time, 
under the direction of William W. Wright, Esq., as engineer and super 
intendent, and the road was operated with great regularity and success 
during the whole period that the Army of the Potomac remained at 

After the occupation of Falmouth by the forces under General 
Burnside, in the fall of 1862, the high bridge across Potomac Creek was 
repaired. The damage done by the enemy consisted in the destruction 
of parts of two spans, which were promptly restored. No opportunity 
was offered of attempting the reconstruction of the railroad bridge 
across the Rappahannock until the day of the first battle of Fredericks - 
burg, when our forces having possession of the city, I commenced work 
on the bridge. 

At this time the construction party consisted of only thirty 
carpenters under the supervision of E. C. Smeed. The Construction 
Corps which I had organized under General McDowell had been dis 
banded by General Pope and, owing to the diversity of opinion which 
existed as to the propriety of employing soldiers or civilians, no reorgan 
ization on a scale sufficient for efficiency had been made. General 


Burnside had, at my solicitation, given peremptory orders that 200 
soldiers should report for duty to me at daylight, and I went personally 
to the commanding officer to see that the detail was made and the men 
notified. The soldiers made their appearance next morning, but as 
soon as the battle became exciting, it was found impossible to keep 
them at work; they scattered over the hills and behind trees, leaving 
only the bridge carpenters. These men worked for several hours under 
a warm fire, until the pulley block of the hoisting apparatus was broken, 
the timber on which the men were at work struck several times by shells 
and the ropes cut. As they were too few in number to accomplish any 
important results, and as the bridge could- be finished after the battle 
as soon as it would be required for use, I permitted the men to seek 
shelter and wait until the next day before resuming operations. 

Next day operations were resumed, and a span on each side well 
advanced towards completion; but the following night Fredericksburg 
was evacuated, and no opportunity has ever been offered since that 
time of reconstructing the bridge. 

General Burnside was succeeded by General Hooker in command 
of the Army of the Potomac, who, if successful in his movement against 
the enemy on the Rappahannock, expected to advance towards Richmond 
with great rapidity. General Hooker sent for me before the battle of 
Chancellorsville. informed me of his plans and requested me to have 
everything in readiness for very active operations. I was prepared to 
reconstruct the road and bridges with a rapidity exceeding anything 
that the Construction Corps had previously accomplished. About 1,600 
lineal feet of bridging had been prepared, 1,000 feet of which was in 
spans of 60 feet, the trusses comprising which were to be transported on 
cars to the end of the track, then* hauled by oxen to the sites of the 
bridges and hoisted into place as a whole by means of apparatus prepared 
for this purpose. About seventy car-loads of material were in readiness 
for the "On to Richmond" movement at the time of the battle of 
Chancellorsville, but the enemy was so unaccommodating as not to give 
us an opportunity of using them. 

While waiting for the onward movement, the opportunity was 
improved for replacing the trestle-bridge across Potomac Creek by a 
substantial truss-bridge. The new bridge was erected and the old one 
removed without delaying a single one of the numerous trains running 
on the road for a single minute, a performance which the officers at 
Headquarters supposed to be impossible. Objections had been made 
to the reconstruction of the bridge, under the impression that it must 
necessarily, for some days at least, interfere with army transportation. 

The new bridge was a very beautiful and substantial structure. It 
was built on a new plan designed as a general one for military truss- 
bridges. Its peculiarities were that it was adapted to any span or 
location; could be used either for deck or through bridges; could be 
constructed to any extent in advance, and kept on hand ready for an 
emergency. It required no skilled labor to frame and raise it, the auger 
and the saw being almost the only tools required to put it together. All 
the parts were alike and interchangeable; any timber could be turned 
or reversed end for end, and it would fit equally well. It was not 
necessary to put any part of the bridge together until it was erected on 
the spot which it was intended to occupy, and it could be raised in one- 
half or one-third the time of any other bridge. The trusses of the 
Potomac Creek bridge, four hundred feet long in three spans, were 
raised in about a day and a half, and this was the first bridge of the 


kind ever constructed. I have but little doubt that with a proper drill 
and more perfect organization 600 lineal feet of this military truss- 
bridge might be set up in a single day. 

After the reconstruction of the Potomac Creek bridge nothing of 
special interest occurred until after the battle of Chancellorsville. 
Regularity, order and absence of all complaints distinguished the opera 
tions of the railroads in Virginia so far as they were under our charge. 
This continued until the movement of the enemy towards Maryland and 
Pennsylvania compelled the abandonment of the Fredericksburg line, 
and Acquia Creek, with its expensive wharves and warehouses, was 
again evacuated and subsequently destroyed by the enemy. 

The evacuation was effected without any loss of movable property; 
everything was carried away, even to the sashes of the buildings. The 
cars, loaded with stores at Falmouth, were put on barges at Acquia 
Crook, towed to Alexandria, landed without break of "bulk, and sent to 
the front over the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. 

The success of this movement convinced all who had previously 
been skeptical in regard to the advantages of sending loaded cars on 
barges, and if it should ever again become necessary to reoccupy the 
Fredericksburg line, I am most decided in the opinion that the wharves, 
warehouses and buildings at Acquia Creek should never again be recon 
structed on a scale approaching to its former magnitude, but that the 
distribution should be made from cars loaded at Alexandria and Wash 
ington, and sent without break of bulk to Falmouth, Fredericksburg, or 
other more advanced stations on this line, as fast as they came into our 

The duties which the Railway Bureau was called upon to perform 
subsequent to the successful evacuation of Acquia Creek were connected 
with the second invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania in June of the 
present year. A few days sufficed to replenish the supplies of the Army 
of the Potomac by way of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, so that 
the pursuit of the enemy in the direction of Frederick was resumed. 
While at and near Frederick, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad formed 
the line of supply, but some embarrassment was caused by that prolific 
source of Military Railway troubles the detention or appropriation of 
trains by military authority, exercised independently of the Superin 
tendent of the line. Having relieved the blockade which the inter 
ference had occasioned, I proceeded to take military possession of the 
Western Maryland Railroad, extending from the Relay House, on the 
Northern Central Railroad, to Westminster. The operation of this 
road under the circumstances was a remarkable success, and showed 
how much could be accomplished by expedients. The road was crooked, 
the grades unfavorable, there were neither water-stations, sidings, turn 
tables, nor other conveniences for more than two or three trains per day, 
and no fuel. The supply of the army required about thirty trains per 
day in both directions. 

To meet these difficulties, cars, engines, and full sets of train 
hands, also coal and split wood were brought from Alexandria; water 
wns dipped from a dam by buckets, an old turn-table was put in order 
to turn the engines, sidings were dispensed with by the prompt unloading 
of the cars on the main track under the efficient supervision of Major 
Painter, of the Quartermaster s Department, and, with the presence and 
personal exertions of Adna Anderson, Esq., Chief Engineer of Con 
struction on the Military Railroads, the extraordinary service so 
suddenly required of the road was satisfactorily performed. 


After organizing the transportation on the Western Maryland 
Railroad, and placing it in competent hands, my attention was next 
directed to the reopening of the communication with Harrisburg by 
means of the Northern Central Railroad. On this road nineteen 
bridges, some of them of considerable magnitude, had been completely 
destroyed. I divided the Construction Corps into two divisions, and 
each of them into subdivisions. One division, under E. C. Smeed, as 
superintendent, I sent to Harrisburg via Philadelphia, with a train of 
tools and materials, with instructions to commence at Harrisburg and 
work south. The second division, under George W. Nagle, as superin 
tendent, was instructed to work north until it met the first. One of the 
subdivisions of the second party I took with me, and personally attended 
to the reopening of the communication with Littlestown and Gettys 
burg. Littlestown was reached on Saturday, July 4, the very day of 
Lee s retreat, where I found General Sickles, and made immediate 
arrangements for his removal. The next morning I reported to General 
Meade at Headquarters near Gettysburg that in a few hours he would be 
again in communication with the capital, and with his depots, both by 
rail and telegraph. 

While engaged in this work, earnest solicitations were made for 
the reconstruction of the railroad between Harrisburg and Chambers- 
burg, but as the Construction Corps had more on hand than could 
possibly be managed, I requested Colonel Thomas A. Scott, Vice-Presi 
dent of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, to assist in the recon 
struction of the Cumberland Valley Railroad, and take men from the 
shops under his control, until I could relieve a portion of my own forces 
from other duties. Colonel Scott promptly responded to this request 
and, for several days, superintended the work in person. 

As soon as the road to Gettysburg was opened, I marched 200 men 
over the mountain to Chambersburg under charge of J. B. Clough, 
Principal Assistant Engineer of Construction, carrying tools and 
rations in wagons, which it was necessary to impress for that purpose, 
and set them to work to reconstruct the Chambersburg and Franklin 
Railroads. The remainder of the Construction Corps, after completing 
the bridges on the Northern Central Railroad, were directed to proceed 
with their trains via Harrisburg and report at Chambersburg. While 
the Corps was on the way, and had nearly reached Chambersburg, a 
telegram was received from Washington informing me of the escape of 
Lee. I immediately turned back the trains and directed them to be for 
warded with all possible dispatch to Alexandria, stopped work on the 
Franklin Road, and with the remainder of the men returned with all 
haste to Alexandria to resume operations on the Orange & Alexandria 

Telegrams were sent to Superintendents of other roads requesting 
the prompt return of all cars and engines belonging to the Government, 
and a sufficient number were collected to forward all necessary supplies 
before the Army of the Potomac had reached the line of the Manassas 
Gap Railroad. 

It affords much gratification to be able to state that the Armies of 
the Rappahannock, of Virginia and of the Potomac, while dependent 
for supplies on the railroads in my charge, have never suffered incon 
venience or been delayed in their movements from any deficiency; in 
fact, it is a question whether rapid movement was not retarded by the 
very superabundance of supplies. No movement ever took place without 
involving the necessity of reloading and transporting by rail hundreds, 


and sometimes thousands of tons which had been sent forward in excess 
of the consumption and of the ability of the wagons to remove. These 
results are due chiefly to two causes: the great efficiency of the Super- 
intendents, J. H. Devereux and William W. Wright, and their subor 
dinates, and the stringent orders of Major-General Halleck, which 
prevented that interference by officers with train movements which, 
previous to my connection with Military Railroad operations, had been 
the cause of constant and vexatious blockades. 

I have now presented a brief report, in the form of a personal 
narrative, of such operations of the Military Railroads Bureau as came 
under my personal observation. This has properly been made in very 
general terms, as T preferred to refer for details to the reports of the 
officers to whom they were more particularly entrusted, which reports 
are appended hereto. 

Information in regard to disbursements and accounts has been 
furnished by Colonel D. C. McCallum, Military Director and General 
Superintendent of United States Railroads. 

The report of Adna Anderson, Chief Engineer of Construction, 
will exhibit the operations of the Construction Corps. 

The report of J. H. Devereux, Esq., Superintendent of Orange & 
Alexandria, Loudoui*. & Hampshire, Manassas Gap & Washington and 
Alexandria Railroads, will exhibit the doings on those roads. 

The report of W. W. Wright, Superintendent and Engineer of the 
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, and for a time also 
Military Superintendent of the Cumberland Valley and Franklin Rail 
roads, will exhibit the operations on those lines. 

The Petersburg & Suffolk and Seaboard & Roanoke Railroads have 
been under the charge of E. L. Wentz, Esq., as Superintendent and 
Engineer, who will also report the doings in construction and transpor 
tation on those lines. 

These are all the Military Railroads that have been directly under 
my charge; for the management of others I have not been in any way 
responsible. Although directed by the Secretary of War to cause an 
inspection to be made of the various Military Railroads in the West, 
and to report such suggestions and recommendations as would promote 
their efficiency and economy, 1 never received authority to correct abuses 
or remedy defects, and my recommendations have not been acted upon. 

The report of F. H. Forbes, Esq., Special Agent, is submitted, and 
the attention of the Department particularly directed thereto. 

While the report of Mr. Forbes gives evidence of a commendable 
fidelity and attention to duty on the part of some of the officers connected 
with the railway organization in the West, the general impression pro 
duced by the report is that of inefficiency, want of system and order, 
inexperience and, too often, utter disregard of economy and great waste 
of public property. Sometimes, too, there are strong reasons to suspect 
collusion between Government officers and contractors. The most pro 
lific source of irregularity in operations, resulting in detention of trains, 
embarrassment of operations and waste of property has been caused 
in the West, as it formerly was in the East, by interference of officers 
with the duties of the Superintendent. It might be supposed that mil 
itary men, recognizing the importance of subordination, would be the 
last to interfere with the orders of a Superintendent or require a viola 
tion of them on the part of his employes; but, unfortunately, there 
has existed a thorough contempt for civilians, particularly on the part 
of officers of low grade, and very few are willing to look beyond their 


own personal gratification or convenience, or care for the embarrass 
ments to other Departments that a determination to accommodate them 
selves may cause. The only remedy for this evil is that which was 
applied by General Ha] leek to the railroads under my charge, when 
it was ordered that any officer who interfered with the movements of the 
trains should be dismissed, and my authority over the railroad was 
declared to be supreme. It is too evident to require argument or illus 
tration, that a railroad is a complicated machine, requiring for its 
successful operation a Superintendent possessed of qualifications not 
often found ; it must have one head, and only one, and through that head 
alone should orders be given affecting the movement of trains. Self- 
evident as appears the propriety of these positions, they have not been 
generally recognized or acted upon, but have been continually violated. 

What is needed is a uniform code of rules, regulations and signals 
for the operation of all Military Railroads of the United States; a 
central bureau at Washington; a system of regular periodical reports, 
giving the names, location, condition, amount of rolling stock, miles 
in operation, characteristics, persons in charge, doings in construction 
and transportation, salaries of employes, and other particulars on all 
the Military Railroads; but even with this, no efforts for improvement 
or reform can be successful without the approval and cordial coopera 
tion of the officer in command of the Department, who must have a real 
izing sense of the necessity of order and system, and who will not 
permit his own temporary convenience, or that of his officers, to violate 
the established rules of operation, and throw the trains into confusion. 

Claims by railroad corporations will, no doubt, be presented for 
damages caused by the raids of the enemy, or for suspension of ordinary 
business during the occupancy of such roads for military purposes. 

In all such cases I am of the opinion that no payment should be 
made by the Government except for actual damages that can be proved 
to have been sustained, none for the loss of prospective profits antici 
pated by corporations from taxing Government transportation. The 
^business and receipts of a road during its ordinary condition can be 
readily ascertained by taking the average of several years before the 
"war, and adding the indicated annual percentage of income; or, if the 
occupation has been only for a short time, then by comparing corre 
sponding periods before the war at the same seasons. The deficiency 
of receipts during the period of military occupancy should be made 
good, as also any damages caused by such occupancy. If allowances be 
made for damages caused by raids, the labor and material expended by 
Government in reconstruction should be deducted or considered in the 

The exposed position of the depot grounds at Alexandria, which 
invited raids; the large amount of rolling stock and other valuable 
property accumulated there, and the fact that attempts had been made 
to fire the buildings, induced me to ask permission of General Halleck 
to construct some artificial protection. The permission was granted 
^without hesitation, and after a careful examination of the ground, I 
concluded to enclose an area occupying several squares with a substan 
tial stockade. The stockade will not only exclude persons who have no 
right to enter the enclosure, but it will be capable of a very efficient 
defense in case of attack. The straight lines which form the sides have 
been broken by intermediate bastions, so that every part is well flanked; 
the bastions are formed by heavier logs than the rest of the stockade, 
and have two tiers of loop-holes. In case of attack they will be defended 


by practiced riflemen armed with magazine rifles. Two positions which 
command the exterior approaches have been prepared for artillery. The 
work was done by the Construction Corps at a time when they had no 
other employment, and is very creditable to them. 

The Construction Corps arid a portion of the employes in the 
Transportation Department have been drilled daily under the direction 
of Lieutenant-Colonel John Clark. 

The Construction Corps consists of about 200 bridge carpenters 
and 300 "contrabands." They are not often suffered to remain idle, but 
when not actually employed in advance movements, are required to cut 
wood, piles and cross-ties, repair track, straighten rails, build block 
houses and stockades, frame bridges in advance of requirements in con 
struction, and perform various other services, in which they have 
attained great efficiency. 

Owing to the frequent exposure of these men in positions where 
they are liable to capture, I obtained permission from General Halleck 
to organize, arm, and drill all the employes of the Military Railroads 
Bureau, in number about one thousand men, with a view to self-defense. 
They have entered into the plan with much zeal and spirit. In case of 
attack, I have no doubt they will give a good account of themselves. 

In the operations of the Military Railroads which have been under 
my charge, various new modes of facilitating transportation, of recon 
structing roads and bridges, of destroying and repairing communi 
cations, and of rapidly throwing troops across streams, have presented 
themselves as the results of observation and experience, the introduction 
of which would increase the efficiency and economy of the service. 

For the purpose of giving an intelligible explanation of these 
plans, the operations were photographed and reports made to General 
Halleck, accompanied with the illustrations. These reports were printed, 
and with the accompanying photographs sent to officers in command of 
departments, posts and expeditions, where the introduction might lead 
to valuable results. To these officers the information should be confined 
during the continuance of the war; any publication of details previous 
to its termination would be improper. 

The artist was detailed from one of the regiments and receives no 
compensation except his ordinary pay. The expense of the photographs 
is inconsiderable. 

Some of the operations which have been thus illustrated consist 
of plans of transporting loaded cars on floats so as to connect the water 
termini of different railroads, and transfer cars from one road to 
another without break of bulk or lapse of time. 

Plans for constructing floating docks, wharves, warehouses and 
bridges, so as to avoid delay in establishing landings and river depots, 
or loss of stores or improvements, if an evacuation becomes necessary. 

Plans for destroying bridges with apparatus so portable that it 
can be carried in the pocket, and in a period of time not exceeding five 

Plans for destroying track at the rate of five miles in an hour, 
with apparatus that can be carried in saddle-bags, and which twists and 
bends rails so effectually that they cannot be again used. 

Plans for straightening rails and reconstructing roads that have 
been destroyed by the enemy. 

Plans for various new kinds of trusses, trestle and suspension 
bridges, designed to permit the use of rough sticks and other material 
that will not require transportation. 


Plans and expedients for crossing streams with boats that two men 
can construct of rough sticks in four hours, requiring transportation of 
only about eight pounds of ropes, cords, and material to each man. By 
means of these boats, rafts, ferries and bridges can be formed capable 
of crossing infantry at the rate of from 10,000 to 20,000 men per hour; 
also artillery and wagon-trains. They will render possible operations 
which have been considered impossible by the best military engineers. 

All these operations have been tested experimentally and illus 
trated by photographs exhibiting actual results. The Construction 
Corps has rendered valuable service in making these experiments at 
times when they would have been otherwise unemployed. Instead of 
allowing the men to remain idle in camp, they have been constantly 
exercised and employed in some way by which they could be made to 
pay expenses. 

This report, with a complete set of photographs illustrative of 
operations in construction and transportation, is herewith respectfully 

In Charge of United States Military Railroads. 



ONLY a portion of the photographs of the achievements and ex 
periments of the Military Railroads Construction Corps can 
be presented herein ; but a description of certain of those not repro 
duced may be quite as instructive and interesting, especially to 
military men and engineers, as the pictures themselves. 

The title-page of the quarto volume containing the entire 
series stated : 

Photographic Illustrations of Operations in Construction and 
Transportation, as used to facilitate the movements of the Armies of the 
Rappahannock, of Virginia, and of the Potomac, including experiments 
to determine the most expeditious and practical modes to be resorted to 
in the construction, destruction, and reconstruction of roads and bridges. 
This series of photographs is sent to officers of departments, posts, 
and expeditions, with a view to increase the efficiency and economy of 
the public service, and especially to suggest expedients whereby our 
own communications can be most readily preserved or restored, and those 
of the enemy most rapidly and effectually destroyed. 

No. 1. Illustrates a mode of transportation which was adopted 
with great advantage on the Potomac (see page 291) in establishing a 
communication between Alexandria and Aquia Creek. It can be used 
to connect the various roads which have their termini on navigable 
rivers, and would prove of great advantage on the Western waters. 

The floats used on the Potomac consisted of two large-sized Schuyl- 
kill barges, across which long timbers were placed supporting eight 
tracks. On these tracks loaded cars were run at Alexandria, towed to 
Aquia Creek, landed without break of bulk, and sent to advanced sta 
tions, where their contents were distributed. This is the first known 
attempt to transport cars by water with their cargoes unbroken. 

At the time of the abandonment of the Fredericksburg Railroad, 
in June, 1863, supplies from Falmouth and other stations in the front 
were loaded in cars, the cars run on floats at Aquia Creek, sent to Alex 
andria, landed without break of bulk, and sent forward to meet the army 
which had marched overland to the line of the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad. All the cars and engines were safely removed, and none of 
the stores lost or destroyed. Without the floats this would have been 

With suitable arrangements trains can be loaded on or unloaded 
from the barges in a very few minutes, and by this means the multiplica 
tion of depots, the break of bulk, with the handling, waste and expense 
which it involves, the steamers and transports, and the risk of capture 
15 283 


from the establishment of depots in exposed positions, would, to a great 
extent, be avoided. It was estimated that the general introduction of 
this system on the Potomac for the supply of the Army at Fredericks- 
burg would have saved at the rate of a million and a half of dollars per 
annum. On the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers there may also be oppor 
tunities of using the plan with great advantage. 

No. 4. "Represents arks 60 feet long, 20 feet wide, and from 6 to 8 
feet high. The sides are formed of round sticks, flatted where they come 
together, and about 6 inches in diameter. The sticks are connected by 
spikes and treenails. Two-inch planks are spiked vertically in the crib- 
work, covered with two thicknesses of canvas, coated on both sides with 
pitch, and the canvas then covered with boards. (See page 273.) 

These arks may be used for a great variety of purposes connected 
with army transportation, some of which are as follows : 

a. Transports for carrying lumber, commissary or quartermas 
ter s stores. 

I. Lashed together in lots of four, forming a float 120 feet by 40 
feet, they will carry 16 cars, which constitute a full train on the Virginia 
railroads, and all the cars can be loaded and unloaded without changing 
the position of the float. 

c. Five arks, placed side by side and covered by a canvas roof, 
will form a warehouse 100 feet by 60 feet, from which supplies may be 
issued; and when empty, the warehouse itself may be towed to the depot 
to be refilled. 

d. Placed together, end to end, they form a wharf sufficiently 
wide for two railway tracks, upon which, when anchored by piles, trains 
can be safely run ; and the capacity for loading or unloading vessels may 
be increased to any desired extent by increasing the number of floats at 
the end of the wharf. In case of evacuation, the wharves and floating 
warehouses may be towed to a place of safety, rendering the destruction 
of buildings and stores unnecessary. 

e. Built about 8 feet high, with a roof of logs, they may be used 
as floating block-houses, for the transportation of troops on rivers, where 
ordinary transports would be exposed to fire from the banks; or for the 
protection of warehouses and other property at river landings. 

f. Filled with bunks, they may form floating hospitals, or may be 
used for the accommodation of mechanics and laborers employed on work 
near streams. 

g. The weight of a locomotive engine will depress an ark but 8 
inches; they may, therefore, be used to support railway bridges capable 
of carrying trains across wide and deep streams. The spans may be 
built in advance on the arks, one at each end, towed into position, fast 
ened together, anchored in any suitable way, and a railway communica 
tion opened in a very short time. A draw in such a bridge can be 
formed by making a span movable. 

Provision should be made for bailing or pumping any water that 
may run or leak into the arks. 

No. 5. Represents the platform on which the bottoms of the arks 
are constructed. It is elevated 10 feet above the launching ways, sup 
ported by stout hinges in the middle so as to afford facilities for turning 
over the bottom of the ark when it has been finished ready to receive the 


sides. The inclined braces which support the projecting part of the 
platform are removed when the bottom is to be turned, and the maneuver 
is effected by ropes passing round the windlasses shown on the back part 
of the platform. (See page 281.) 

Near the water is seen an ark on the ways, nearly finished. 

periments on this truss gave very important results, and indicate the 
possibility of applying the principles even to railway bridges. The 
supports of the bridge consisted of two catenaries, each of six 1-inch 
boards, 12 inches wide; the span was 100 feet, versed sine 10 feet. The 
boards were nailed together at intervals of 4 inches, with tenpenny 
nails; and after the catenary was formed, cut spikes were driven through. 
The anchorage, which was not very secure, gave way with 84,000 pounds, 
but the boards were not pulled apart. The experiment will be repeated 
by coating the surfaces of the boards with pitch, compressing them with 
half -inch bolts one foot apart, and driving spikes at intervals of four 
inches. It is believed that this arrangement will possess extraordinary 
powers of resistance, and the combination being impervious to water, will 
also possess great durability. 

In constructing a suspension bridge upon this principle, to replace 
a bridge of one or more spans that has been destroyed, three of the layers 
of boards which form the catenaries are nailed together on the bank at 
one end of the bridge, supported, if necessary, by rollers, and drawn into 
place across the opening by a cable and capstan on the opposite side. 
When the catenary of three boards is placed, it will form a runway across 
the opening; other boards are then added, taking care to break joints at 
equal distances. Holes are then bored, bolts inserted and tightly screwed, 
and lastly the spikes are driven. The anchorage is secured by spreading 
the boards at the ends by means of wedges, in the shape of a fan, to pre 
vent it from pulling through the timbers which embrace it; or in several 
other ways secure anchorage may be obtained. 

As boards can be carried by men for several miles, this mode of 
construction for military bridges may sometimes possess great advan 
tages. A very important application of this principle may be made to 
the construction of a board suspension bridge for ordinary military pur 
poses. The board catenaries drawn across the stream, anchored to posts, 
and floating on the water, may be raised, at intervals of 30 or 40 feet, by 
means of a scow, and trestles placed under, giving as many points of 
support as may be considered necessary. Such a bridge could be con 
structed, with great rapidity. 

very great value in military . operations. It consists of a frame (see 
page 217) covered with an India-rubber blanket, or with painted canvas, 
or any other material impervious to water. 

The frames are made of round or split sticks, not much larger than 
chair sticks, put together by means of the pocket auger represented on 
page 191. 

To afford sufficient capacity, the best size for the blanket is 8 feet 
long by 5 feet wide. This will allow two men to sit in each boat, facing 
each other, with their legs extended. The frames are 16 inches high, 28 
inches wide and 64 inches long, outside dimensions. The blanket is 
surrounded by eyelets and tied to the top rail of the frame by strings. 

Although these boats may be used singly, for scouting and for other 
purposes, yet their most important use promises to be in throwing large 


bodies of troops suddenly across a stream, even in the face of an enemy 
of equal strength, and enabling them, by the rapidity of the maneuver, 
to occupy and hold their ground before the enemy can concentrate to 
oppose them. To accomplish this movement, which books on military 
science declare to be impracticable, a point should be selected where 
artillery can command the opposite bank, and where troops can be 
massed unobserved. When all is ready, two regiments of engineer 
troops, each man carrying his boat, advance rapidly to the stream, 
throw in the boats, lash them together in rafts of 25, send over ropes to 
tie to trees on both sides, and in a few minutes a ferry is extemporized, 
capable with two ropes, of throwing troops across at the rate of 10,000 
men per hour; one of the ropes being used for the loaded rafts, and the 
other to return the empty ones (see page 257). Each raft will carry 50 
to 65 men; and to avoid confusion and delay, the men who manage the 
rafts should be drilled. Cavalry may be passed over by holding the 
bridles of the horses; artillery (see page 265), by flooring the rafts with 
poles. In No. 17 (see page 233) two boats of smaller dimensions than 
those prescribed carry four men, but the men should sit flat on the bot 
tom, not on boards across the top. 

No. 18. EXPEDIENTS FOR CROSSING STREAMS. Blanket boats on the 
Potomac (see page 241) some distance from shore. A pair of boats 
carries four men, and a single small boat, made of an ordinary blanket, 
one man, who is sitting on the bottom. Boats of blankets of the ordinary 
size are too small. They have buoyancy enough to carry a man, but he 
must be very expert in the use of a canoe or he will upset. 

No. 19. EXPEDIENTS FOR CROSSING STREAMS. Frame of a blanket 
boat (see page 217) of proper size. The outside dimensions are : height 
16 inches, breadth 28 inches, length 64 inches. The rails of the frame 
are one inch and a half, round or square ; the connecting pieces one inch, 
round or square. The material may be obtained from fence rails, poles 
or split timber. It is not absolutely necessary that an India-rubber 
blanket should be used for covering the frames; any kind of tight can 
vas will answer as well. Pieces of sail cloth or condemned tents may be 
used for this purpose to great advantage. A coat of thick paint will 
render them impervious to water. 

page 191) used to construct the frames of the blanket boats. It consists 
of a hollow case about 6 inches long, which contains a 34-inch auger for 
boring holes in the rails, and in the end is a hollow auger for cutting 
round tenons 34-inch diameter and 1^ inches long. The auger can be 
carried with little more inconvenience than a jack-knife. 

No. 21. EXPEDIENTS FOR CROSSING STREAMS. A pair of small pon 
toons (see page 225), designed to facilitate scouting operations. They 
should be about 10 inches diameter and 7 or 8 feet long. They can be 
carried by a strap around the waist and concealed by an overcoat. A 
boat can be made of these by running poles through the loops, and then 
placing sticks across. They were originally designed by General Haupt 
for the use of surveying parties, but for scouting expeditions they may 
be of great value. 

No. 24. EXPERIMENTAL BRIDGE TRUSSES. Truss for military 
bridges (see pages 61, 71, 81, 91), which is composed of boards nailed 
and spiked together. The span is 60 feet; the height of truss six feet. 
The form is that of a fish or two arches curved in opposite directions. 


The lower arch is composed of six boards, the upper arch of five. The 
braces are of two-inch plank, and through the trusses, vertically, inch 
bolts are passed. These trusses were tested by forming a bridge of two 
of them, which was loaded with railroad iron until it broke. The weight 
was applied by first piling a number of bars on the bridge, then pulling 
over a car loaded with twenty tons by means of a rope, so as to avoid risk 
to the men. The bridge broke (see page 91) with 108,000 pounds. 

This was a highly satisfactory experiment, and although the trusses 
were designed simply for ordinary military bridges, they would safely 
have carried a locomotive. When they broke, the weight stood on the 
bridge five minutes before it came down. Much stronger trusses than 
those experimented upon, can be made by pitching the surface of the 
boards, bolting them with half-inch bolts at intervals of a foot, and 
driving spikes through at intervals of four inches. Two such trusses 
would carry a train, but- three or four could be used if preferred. 

Instead of the two arches turned in opposite directions, one of them 
may be replaced by a straight chord- 
was 60 feet long, the clear span 56 feet, height of truss six feet. The top 
and bottom arches were each composed of six boards, one inch thick and 
twelve inches wide; the surfaces of the boards were covered with pitch; 
the boards, as they were successively placed, were nailed with tenpenny 
nails, four inches apart; at intervals of one foot were placed two half- 
inch bolts, compressing the boards tightly, and spikes, six inches long, 
were driven through the boards at intervals of four inches. Boards were 
also nailed vertically on the sides. 

The bridge was loaded until it broke. The breaking weight was 
95 tons, 30 tons of which were on the car; the equivalent was about 105 
tons, uniformly distributed. 

When the truss broke, it appeared that the built-chord had acted as 
a solid piece ; there was no slipping of the boards upon each other. The 
fractures of the six boards, on each lower chord, were nearly at the same 
point. Assuming five of the boards to have resisted the tensile strain, 
the breaking strain was 2,900 pounds per square inch. The top chords 
did not break. 

No. 36. EXPERIMENT WITH BOARD TRUSSES. Experiments having 
proved that trusses could be made of boards of sufficient strength to 
carry railway trains, it was concluded to construct 1,000 lineal feet of 
bridging of this description (see page 61) preparatory to the forward 
movement of the Army of the Potomac. 

The construction of these bridges furnished employment to the 
Construction Corps when they had no other work. It was intended that 
the trusses should be carried whole and placed in position, without the 
use of false works, resting the ends on wooden piers when the trusses 
were shorter than the spans which they replaced. 

Each pair of trusses was to form a span of 60 feet of bridging. 
The trusses were to be placed about 10 feet apart, braced by planks, and 
the ties placed directly on the top chords, as shown in plate. 

These trusses were composed of nine boards in each chord. The 
surfaces were not pitched. The half -inch bolts were in pairs one foot 
apart, as in the trusses previously constructed. Cut spikes, six inches 
long, were driven from both sides at intervals of four inches. Boards 
were also nailed vertically on the sides of the trusses covering the edges 
of the other boards. 


A pair of these trusses were experimented upon and tested by first 
loading them uniformly with one ton per lineal foot, in addition to the 
weight of the bridge, and then running on a car loaded with 30 tons of 
rails. The strain thus produced was supposed to be twice as great as 
that caused by the passage of any ordinary railroad train. 

The bridge stood the test without any yielding or slipping of the 
boards in the middle of the span. Only one board appeared to have 
slipped about the sixteenth part of an inch, but even this was doubtful. 

There were about one hundred of these valuable photographs 
illustrating the peculiar inventions of General Haupt to promote 
the- operations of war, but the remainder, where not reproduced in 
this volume, require no description. 



AFTER the repulse of General W. S. Rosecrans in. September, 
1863, East Tennessee was considered in great jeopardy, and 
Secretary Stanton decided to send a portion of the Army of the 
Potomac to reinforce the armies in the West. An article in the 
Century of March, 1887, states that General Halleck considered 
the movement impracticable, as it would be impossible to get the 
transfer effected in time. After much discussion, the President 
was inclined to side with General Halleck. Stanton requested an 
adjournment until evening, and in the meantime sent for my suc 
cessor, Colonel McCallum, and presented the question : 

Assuming that you have entire control of rail and telegraph, what 
is the shortest time in which you can transfer the required number of 
troops, with artillery, ammunition and supplies, to the objective point ? 

McCallum made his figures and reported a date earlier than 
that which the Secretary considered necessary. At the adjourned 
meeting Colonel McCallum was sent for and gave his figures, and 
was ordered at once to commence the movement, which was success 
fully accomplished, 22,000 men, artillery, ammunition and sup 
plies being moved from near Catlett s Station, on the Orange & 
Alexandria Railroad, to a point 1,166 miles distant in eight days. 
McCallum was rewarded by a commission as Brigadier-General. 

But it was in Sherman s great campaign, in his world- 
renowned march to the sea, that the wonderful efficiency of the 
Construction Corps was most strikingly exhibited. The marvel 
ous celerity with which bridges were reconstructed and broken 
communications restored inspired so much confidence in General 
Sherman that he would risk advances when dependent upon ex 
tended rail lines of hundreds of miles in his rear for supplies, and 
that, too, when these lines were subject to constant breaks from 
guerrilla bands and hostile citizens. 

In this famous march, the transportation was under the direc 
tion of W. W. Wright, the repairs of roads under Adna Anderson, 
and the bridges under E. C. Smeed. Wright, being much of his 
time at Headquarters and receiving instructions from General 



Sherman and from his Chief Quartermaster, appears to have been 
the only officer of the Corps recognized by General Sherman in his 
Memoirs, and to him all the credit has been given: but Wright 
managed the transportation only; the reconstruction of the roads 
was in the hands of General Anderson, who held a more difficult 

There could have been no transportation without a continu 
ous track, and there could have been no continuous track without 

The bridges were the key of the situation, and they were 
under the charge of E. C. Smeed, and to this diffident, unassuming 
man, whose name was not even mentioned, more than to any other, 
T give the credit of the success of Sherman s great campaign. 

Sherman could not have moved without supplies ; he could not 
have had supplies without the railroads, and the railroads could 
not have been used without the bridges, and I firmly believe that 
no other man living could have been found capable of reconstruct 
ing the bridges with equal celerity. 

During this campaign I received a letter from Smeed inform 
ing me that he had built a bridge across the Chattahoochee. which 
contained twice the amount of timber of the Potomac Creek bridge, 
and was built in just half the time, or four and a half days, the 
timber being taken from the stump. 

The records of the whole world cannot find the equal of such 
a performance, but it must be remembered that Smeed had a corps 
of men thoroughly organized and drilled, veterans in military 
bridge construction, while at Potomac Creek I had details of com 
mon soldiers, changed every day, unskilled, untrained and many of 
them useless for any purpose. 

I was very anxious to get an account from Smeed himself of 
the reconstruction of this Chattahoochee bridge to include in these 
Memoirs, and wrote to him two or three times without reply. I 
finally concluded that his well-known and extreme diffidence ren 
dered him indisposed to place himself in any position that would 
render him conspicuous ; but after his death, in 1892, his daughter, 
Mrs. Kate Smeed Cress, of Emporia, Kansas, wrote to me that she 
had found amongst her father s papers an unfinished letter ad 
dressed to me, which she would forward if desired. Of course it 
was desired, and the following is a copy of the letter : 

OMAHA, NEB., May, 1899. 

DEAR GENERAL: Replying to yours, asking to be furnished with 
a brief account of my operations while connected with the Construction 
Department of the Military Railways of the Military Division of the 
Mississippi, I will say: 

In the fall of 1863, while at Alexandria, Virginia, I received an 
order to report for duty to General D. C. McCallum at Bridgeport, 




Alabama. I started the same day I got the order and went direct to 
Stevenson. While there I learned by telegraph from Colonel W. W. 
Wright that General McCallum and himself were in New York waiting 
for men to be recruited for railway service in the Southwest, and that 
they would not come on South for some time. 1 also learned, while in 
Stevenson, that the base of supplies for the army then in Chattanooga 
was at Bridgeport, Alabama. 

Being unable to render any service where I was, I went on to 
Bridgeport, the terminus of the railway. Finding nothing I could do 
there towards opening the railway further South, I went on about 
twenty-five miles further to a point where a long and high bridge that 
carries the railway over a deep, wide valley, had been burned. There I 
found a party of workmen engaged in rebuilding it. The person in 
charge of the work said they were working under orders of Colonel 
Anderson you, no doubt, know him; he was formerly an engineer on 
the Pennsylvania Railroad. These men had been at work here for con 
siderable time and the construction of the bridge was well under way. 
The methods employed in the construction were not the best ; they were 
orthodox, but to a member of the Construction Corps of Virginia they 
did seem a little old-fashioned and unsuited to the occasion. Steps were 
immediately taken to change the mode of operation, and introduce better 
and more expeditious methods of construction, which, I think, succeeded 
fairly well, as the bridge was finished in a few days that would have 
taken, under the old regime, as many weeks. 

On my return to camp, I found General McCallum and Colonel 
Wright ; they had come on by rail and, being unable to cross the bridge, 
waited there for me to return, which I did that evening, and after being 
assured by me that the railway would be ready for trains the next day, 
they concluded to remain over night in my camp. 

The next morning the bridge was finished and several trains loaded 
with supplies crossed over it and ran into Chattanooga. 

General McCallum and Colonel Wright rode into Chattanooga on 
the first train, and that was the only part either of them took in opening 
up the railway communications with Chattanooga, although I have often 
heard each of them speak of their great achievement in opening up the 
railway to carry food to the starving army in Chattanooga. 

After the railway was opened to Chattanooga, Colonel Wright was 
placed in charge of railway construction in the Southwest, with head 
quarters in Chattanooga. 

As soon as the railway was in good running order I was ordered 
by Colonel Wright to open up communications between Chattanooga 
and Knoxville. For this service I had two companies of the Con 
struction Corps that had just come on from Virginia, they being a part 
of the old force employed there by me before I went South. 

The track force went by rail, taking their tools and supplies with 
them, and repaired the railway as they advanced. 

The bridgemen took their tools and supplies in army wagons, and 
marched about forty miles to Charleston, the place where the bridge 
over the Hiwassee River had been burned. The bridge, although quite 
long and high, was finished before the trackmen arrived there. As soon 
as the track force came up the work of repairing the road was pushed on 
as far as London, about twenty-five miles from Knoxville. 

While at London I received an order to turn the forces over to 
Colonel E. L. Wentz, and to report for duty to Colonel John Clark, at 
Nashville, Tennessee, to complete an unfinished railway between Nash- 


ville and Johnsonville. When I arrived on the work, I found the road 
in running order for about twenty-five miles out from Nashville; the 
remaining forty-five miles that had been built to reach Johnsonville was 
in work. The grading was being done by colored troops, the track and 
bridges by Engineer troops a brigade of the former and two regiments 
of the latter having been detailed for that service. The work was being 
done under the old established rules generally followed in such cases, 
viz., the earth being wheeled out of the cuts to make the fills. The 
timber for the bridges were squared and framed together according to 
old established customs. The cross-ties were being bedded to a straight 
edge, and the rails were being laid and spiked down in the usual manner. 
In order to open the line as soon as possible, the track was laid before 
the grading was finished and the cuts taken out and the fills brought to 
grade afterwards. Our new methods were introduced in bridge-building 
and track-laying, and by these means the road was opened to Johnson 
ville in about thirty days. 

All these operations were preliminary to the Atlanta campaign. 

When the Atlanta movement began I was in Nashville, Tennessee, 
and did not expect to go with the Construction Corps on that campaign, 
as another engineer, Colonel Eicholtz, had been selected for that service. 
But some time after the movement south from Chattanooga began, I 
received a telegram to proceed to Chattanooga and join the Construc 
tion Corps in the field as soon as possible. I started immediately 
on receipt of the order and joined the Corps near Big Shanty, Georgia. 
After I joined the Corps, Colonel Wright and Colonel Eicholtz remained 
with it until the railway was repaired to Marietta. Soon after I joined 
the Corps Colonel Wright and Colonel Eicholtz returned to Chattanooga, 
and I saw very little of Colonel Wright and nothing of Colonel Eicholtz 
until the railway was opened to Atlanta. Colonel Wright occasionally 
made short visits to the front, but never remained with us very long. 

Our operations here in the Southwest were conducted quite similar 
to the Front Royal campaign in Virginia; you, of course, remember 
how we did the work there. Our forces here were better organized and 
equipped, and consequently more efficient than the raw details employed 
there. Our tools for bridge-building consisted chiefly of axes, cross 
cut saws, spiking mauls, augers, ropes, blocks and tackle, timber-rollers, 
scaffolding plank, when we could get them, and two good sets of balance 
beams, and a few carpenters tools, the latter seldom used. We always 
carried a full supply of wrought bridge spikes, that were liberally used 
in our temporary works. Eor track service we had a regular set of track 
tools for laying track, and in addition we always carried hooks for 
taking up track and bending rails.* You remember the first of these 
hooks were made in Alexandria, Virginia. I see General Howard, in his 
Century article, gives Colonel Poe the credit for inventing it. You 
know who invented it. 

Our transportation by rail consisted of locomotives, box cars for 
supplies, flat cars for materials and stock cars for animals. Our land 
transportation was all done with ox teams, which were drawn from the 
Commissary and returned to the Commissary when we were out of beef 
and a new provision return made out for more meat rations. Our camp 
equipment consisted of a sufficient supply of tents and the regular camp 
equipage for men. The men were organized in squads of about twenty 

* NOTE. Invented by E. C. Smeed during Hooker s campaign, and previously 
described herein. 


each, with a foreman in charge of each squad. Each squad had its own 
cook, camp equipage, tools, etc. The squads were independent of each 
other; in other words, any one of the squads could be detached for 
special duty without interfering with the organization of another 

The successive steps taken to build a bridge over a large stream 
would be as follows r A sufficient number of axmen, teamsters and teams 
would be left in the rear, where good timber for our purposes was plenty, 
to cut and hew (we usually flatted the timber on two sides) and deliver 
on the cars a sufficient quantity of timber to build the bridge. As fast 
as the timber could be loaded on the cars it would be forwarded to the 
bridge site. The framers and raisers would proceed to the bridge site 
and begin the work of clearing away the rubbish, unloading tools, pitch 
ing camp, etc. By the time this had been finished the first lot of timber 
would have arrived and been unloaded on the ground. 

As soon as this was done the squads would be assigned to their 
special duties and begin their work at once. The raisers would begin 
operations by rigging and running out their balance beams at both ends 
of the bridge. The framers would frame and put a bent together on the 
ground ready to be launched into the stream or raised from the ground 
into place, according to circumstances. By the time a bent was put 
together, the leveler would be ready to give the exact length for cutting 
off the feet of the posts; in the meantime, the raisers would have their 
balance beams rigged and the falls lowered ready to raise the bent into 
position. As soon as the bent was stayed, the balance beams would be 
run out for the next bent. This operation would be repeated in this way 
from both ends of the bridge until all the bents were in place. While 
the shore bents were being put up, another squad would build a 
temporary ferry for crossing the stream, which consisted of a raft 
rigged similar to a rope ferry. The ferry would always be located just 
above the bridge site, so that the bents of the bridge that came in the 
stream could be fastened to the raft and floated into position under the 
bridge, ready to be raised into place. If the water was deep and the 
current swift, several bars of railway iron would be spiked to the feet 
of the posts to assist in sinking them. When a bridge was two, three 
or four sections high, very little attention was paid to the height of the 
first sections, but the leveler would take the elevation of the top of the 
first section as soon as it was raised and determine the exact height of 
all the upper sections, and they would be framed to the proper height. 
As the work progressed, another squad would spike on, where needed, 
additional braces. These braces were made of round poles about six 
inches in diameter, flatted where they came in contact with the main 
timbers and well spiked to them as fast as the befjfcs were raised and 
braced. Another squad of men would put on the track stringers, which 
were made of round logs hewn flat on the top sides and where they 
rested on the bents. The track stringers were never spliced nor butted 
together on a cap, but were always lapped by each other; the bays were 
generally about sixteen feet long. We used two, four or six stringers in 
each bay, depending entirely on the size and quality of the timbers in 
them. The next and last operation was lajing the track. Common hewn 
cross-ties were used; they were spiked to the track stringers with long 
bent spikes, and the rails spiked down to them in the usual way. 

Generally the track was repaired up to the bridge site before the 
bridges were begun. Exceptions were sometimes made where long 
stretches of track had been destroyed and where timbers for rebuilding 


a bridge could be obtained near at hand. In such cases the bridgemen 
would build the bridges in advance of the track work. The bridges 
built in this way were rough and strong; they would sometimes settle 
out of line and surface under the weight of the first trains, but they 
were easily relieved and surfaced again. Considering the circum 
stances and materials we had to work with, the bridges were built in a 
very short time. As for an example of military bridge-building, the 
bridge over the Chattahoochee River, near Atlanta, Georgia, although 
being a large one, about 800 feet long and nearly 100 feet high, was 
built in four and a half days. 

The water service required special attention, and was done by 
men detailed for that service. 

The advance engines were supplied with water carried from wells, 
small streams, or water courses, to the tender in buckets or camp kettles 
by men formed in line passing the buckets from one to another. The 
water tanks were built in advance of the regular supply trains. JSTo 
fixed rules were followed in building them; they generally consisted of 
a tub about twelve feet in diameter and eight feet deep, set upon a 
framed stand. Water would be supplied to them from the nearest 
spring or water course. 

The above is a general outline of the way the railway building 
was carried on during the Atlanta campaign. We had to encounter 
many difficulties not enumerated here, but they were all matters of 
detail in railway building in an enemy s country that were met and 

The foregoing letter is unsigned and ends abruptly. The sys 
tem of operations was precisely the same as that first introduced by 
me in the campaign of the Army of the Rappahannock under Gen 
eral McDowell in 1862, in which operations E. C. Smeed was my 
most efficient assistant. 

The brief mention of the Chattahoochee bridge is worthy of 
note and characteristic of the modesty of the writer. This bridge 
I regard as the most extraordinary feat in military bridge con 
struction that the world has ever seen. 

A bridge 780 feet long and more than 90 feet high, con 
structed in four and a half days, the timber being cut from the 
stump, is certainly without parallel. 

It is not surprising that the accounts of building these bridges, 
published during the war, were considered fabulous by the mili 
tary engineers of Europe, and that I was requested in 1868, by a 
unanimous vote of the British Association for the Advancement of 
Science at the Dundee meeting, to explain how such structures had 
been erected. The explanation was followed by a vote of thanks 
and the tender of a banquet by the Eoyal Engineers. 


THESE notes, covering an important period of the war, contain 
many papers which are not found in the records of the Re 
bel] ion ; and statements of facts known only to myself, which throw 
strong sidelights upon the main facts of history. 

I have purposely omitted the reports of the Special Agent 
sent to examine into the condition of affairs in the West and 
Southwest. They exhibited gross mismanagement, wanton waste, 
and wholesale destruction of public property, and also contain 
statements affecting the integrity of individuals which should at 
the time have been made the subject of investigation by a Con 
gressional Committee. These reports were all submitted to the 
Secretary of War, but as no public action was taken by him, and 
no investigation made by Congress, it would be ungenerous, after 
so great a lapse of time, to throw a cloud upon the reputation of 
those who might have made a good defense, or, at least, have made 
explanations that would have removed in part, at least, the odium 
which appeared to attach to them. 

My intimate association with heads of departments and with 
the commanders of armies in the field, renders it expedient for 
me to give some expressions of opinion derived from personal 
contact, and thus help to remove some popular errors. 

PRESIDENT LINCOLN. My first interview with President 
Lincoln was in 1861, before my connection with the service. 
On the occasion of a visit to Washington, Hon. John Covode, of 
Pennsylvania, asked me to go with him to see the President. 

Covode was not a man who paid any attention to the rules 
of etiquette. He took me to the White House, and without sending 
a card, walked up stairs, then along the hall to a room, opened 
the door without knocking, and ushered me into the august presence 
of Abraham Lincoln. The President was alone, seated in a chair, 
tilted back, with his heels upon the sill of an open window, clad in 
a linen duster, for the weather was warm. 

Covode was greeted very cordially, and then I was intro 
duced with some rather extravagant words of commendation, when 
Covode remarked: "Mr. President, I always thought it strange 



that the first time we met we seemed to know each other, and I 
think I have discovered the reason. You are called Honest Abe 
and I Honest John/ and honest men are so mighty scarce in 
Washington that, of course, we knew each other at sight." 

The President laughed, and then said: "That reminds me 
of a little story." It was about two little newsboys, and was 
appropriate, but I have forgotten the point. 

I met the President occasionally afterwards during my con 
nection with the service, but never intruded iipon him unless I 
had something of importance to communicate. I was always 
received with cordiality. 

On one occasion I had returned from a visit to the army 
with Covode, who was a prominent and useful member of the 
Committee on the Conduct of the War. He asked me to go with 
him to see the President. It was a period of gloom. We found 
the President much depressed. Covode reported the dissatis 
faction in the army and the criticisms on his policy, and had 
proceeded for some time, when the President suddenly turned, 
placed his hand upon his knee and said : 

"Covode, stop ! Stop right there ! ISTot another word ! I 
am full, brim full up to here" drawing his hand across his neck. 

The President was tired of hearing criticisms upon his policy ; 
he knew that he was doins; his dutv as best he could, and the 

O - / 

verdict of posterity has been entered up in his favor. 

The President respected the sanctity of the Sabbath and dis 
approved of unnecessary work upon that day. I accompanied him 
on his visit to McDowell at Falmouth, when the General told 
him that he would not be ready to start before Sunday on the 
march to Richmond, but knowing his objections to initiating 
movements that day, he would leave it to his judgment. The 
reply was : "Take a good ready and start Monday morning." 

It was on his return from this visit that he told members of 
the War Committee that I had built the Potomac Creek bridge 
out of nothing but beanpoles and cornstalks. 

In Pope s second battle of Manassas I have reason to believe 
that the President passed many days without sleep, for at all 
hours of the night I received telegrams from him asking if I 
had no further intelligence to communicate. 

He w r as sorely tried by McClellan s inactivity, and his letters 
and dispatches were often pathetic : "If you don t intend to use 
that army, won t you lend it to me ?" "What has your cavalry 
been doing since the battle of Antietam that would fatigue 
anything ?" 

It is useless to indulge in any eulogies of President Lincoln. 
His heart was tender and full of sympathy, with no room for 


enmity. His intellect was penetrating and intuitive, his judg 
ment almost infallible. In him the South lost their best friend, 
and the Nation, with the possible exception of Washington, their 
greatest President. 

SECRETARY EDWIN M. STAN TON. I had some acquaint 
ance with Mr. Stanton when he was practicing law in 
Pittsburg, but was not intimate. He was a man of marked 
ability and of strong characteristics. He was. I believe, honest, 
patriotic and fearless, but at times impulsive and headstrong. 
He made enemies and was denounced by those who unsuccessfully 
opposed him or felt the force of his power, as unjust and 

Although T incurred his displeasure by interesting myself in 
behalf of parties who had been charged with and punished for 
disloyalty, when I believed there was no ground for it, I was 
treated in general with much consideration by the Secretary, and 
furnished with a card, "Admit the bearer at any hour day or 
night." At times he was lavish in compliments; at other times 
he charged me with disrespect for not obeying orders that I believed 
to be impracticable and unreasonable. 

On the whole, our relations w r ere satisfactory until he was 
compelled to choose between Governor Andrew and myself, and, of 
course, chose the former. 

PETER H. WATSON. Mr. Watson was Assistant Secre 
tary of War. He had been associated with Mr. Stanton as a lawyer, 
and was his most intimate friend. He was a man of bright 
intellect and sound sense; discreet, prudent and eminently 
practical, and acted as a balance-wheel in the Department. 

Between Watson and myself there never was a ripple of 
antagonism. When I was recalled to resume charge of the rail 
roads in 1863, no one welcomed my return more cordially. He 
gave me authority to arrest and imprison parties guilty of treason 
able practices ; placed at my disposal part of the contingent fund 
to employ detectives to ferret out abuses and frauds, and no one 
regretted my retirement more sincerely. 

He held important positions after the war, and was at one 
time President of the Erie Railroad. 

GENERAL HENRY W. HALLECK. In July, 1862, General 
Halleck was summoned to Washington as General in chief com 
mand of all the armies of the United States, and military adviser 
of the President. Previous to that time he had been in command 
of the Department of the Missouri, Headquarters at St. Louis. 


He had been a counsellor-at-law at San Francisco, author of 
numerous works on Military Science, an LL. D., a man of 
superior attainments and eminently fitted for the responsible posi 
tion to which he had been called. Secretary Stanton had known 
him professionally in California and may have been the cause of 
his promotion. 

Before this time there had been no military head to the 
armies, each commander acting independent!} with such instruc 
tions as he received from the War Department or the President. 

My office was on G street, near the War Department, and 
Halleck s office was a few doors east. I was with him frequently 
and, after his appointment, consulted him instead of the Secretary 
in regard to the operations of my Department. General George 
W. Cullom was his Chief of Staff, and Colonel J. C. Kelton his 
Adjutant General. 

I formed a very high opinion of General Halleck s sound 
judgment, prudence and discretion, and was encouraged by him to 
express opinions and make suggestions freely in all matters per 
taining to the operations under my charge. 

There is, and has been, a widespread misapprehension in 
regard to the interference of General Halleck with the Generals in 
command of armies in the field, and he has been censured by the 
press for giving orders which trammelled their liberty of action, 
and resulted in disaster. This, I think, is an error, and does him 
great injustice. 

I have already narrated the interview between the President 
and General Halleck after the battle of Fredericksburg, when he 
positively refused to issue orders for the retirement of the army 
to the north side of the river. He told the President decidedly 
that if such orders were issued, he must give them on his own 
responsibility. He said if he were personally present he might 
take such responsibility, and then enunciated his position in these 
words a position from which I never knew him to depart: "I 
hold that a General in command of an army in the field is. or 
ought to be, the best judge of the situation. He should be allowed 
full liberty to exercise his own discretion and not be trammelled 
with orders from those who are not in a situation to know all the 
conditions which influence a decision." 

In his dispatches to Hooker he refused to give him detailed 
instructions, and stated that it was proper for those at Washington 
merely to indicate the objects to be accomplished ; it was the duty 
of the Generals in the field to use their own discretion as to the 
best means of accomplishing those objects. The general directions 
were : Do not manoeuvre in such a manner as to leave the capital 
exposed ; keep as near the enemy as you can ; use your cavalry 


to obtain information as to his position and movements; if he 
spreads out, strike as opportunity offers : it is more important to de 
feat and destroy the army of the enemy than to take Richmond. 

General Halleck has been severely censured for the orders 
^iven to Meade after the battle of Gettysburg. I am, perhaps, 
responsible for these orders more than any one else. 

At my interview with General Meade on the next morning 
after Lee s retreat, I felt sure that if the rest of several days which 
he proposed to take were really taken, the enemy would escape, 
and I urged General Halleck to give orders to commence the 
pursuit immediately and prevent Lee from effecting a crossing of 
the Potomac back into Virginia. 

When Lee did escape it w r as natural that great dissatisfaction 
should be felt, and it was to have been expected that such dissatis 
faction should also be expressed when the fruits of the splendid 
victory at Gettysburg had been lost by inaction. 

MAJOR-GENERAL IRVIN McDowELL. Of all the commanders 
of the Armies of the East during my connection with them, I 
considered General McDowell the most able, but at the same time 
the most unfortunate and the most unpopular. 

My relations with McDowell were more intimate personally 
than with any other General in command. I was a member of 
his staff, enjoyed his confidence and was authorized by him to 
attach his name to any orders I misfht find it necessary to issue. 
He wished me to be with him as much as possible, to make his 
camp my Headquarters, and assured me that a camp bed and 
plate were always at my service ; but this could not be, as my duties 
required a constant change of location. 

McDowell never forgot what he was pleased to consider my 
kindness to him when he came to West Point as a new cadet and 
was received by me as a tent-mate, assisted and protected from 
hazing. I claim, therefore, that I should know McDowell thor 
oughly, and whether the public opinions in regard to him were 

He was a man of fine education, with superior conversational 
powers, but a very strict disciplinarian. He sought to increase the 
mobility of his army by cutting off unnecessary transportation. 
He had no use for regimental bands, and objected to the barrels 
of lager and the cases of wines and liquors which increased the 
wagon trains and delayed movements. 

He himself used no stimulants, and could not regard them as 
a necessity for others, which made him obnoxious, especially to 
the German regiments. 



He regarded newspaper reporters as a nuisance. They 
retaliated by writing him down, and their papers, circulating 
amongst the camps, manufactured a public opinion amongst the 
rank and file, much to the injury of the commander. 

On one occasion a band came to serenade him, but he was so 
much occupied in studying maps and papers that he probably did 
not hear them, and they went off with uncomplimentary epithets. 

He was thoroughly systematic, and when sending an order 
always sent a duplicate and required an indorsement, as evidence 
of receipt. This practice proved of value before the Court of 
Inquiry, when a German General, having repeatedly denied receiv 
ing a certain order, McDowell took a paper from a package and 
asked him if he recognized his own signature. The only answer 
was, "Well ! I forgot it" 

There is no question that McDowell felt hampered by instruc 
tions from Washington, and was not always permitted to exercise 
his own judgment to the full ; but it was not the same with subse 
quent commanders to an equal extent. 

After the unsuccessful movement to Front Royal, against 
which McDowell had so earnestly protested, and truly predicted 
the result, the public clamor demanded his removal, which was 
made by the President with great reluctance, as I believe he 
enjoyed his entire confidence. 

One of his staff related an instance of his coolness under fire. 
They were riding along an open valley, when a rebel battery on a 
hill opened fire upon them. On the opposite side of the valley 
were a large number of artillery horses. He sent an officer of his 
staff to have them removed to a place of safety, seeming, as my 
informant said, more concerned about the safety of the horses 
than the safety of his staff. 

Had Halleck come into command sooner, or had McDowell 
remained in command later, I think favorable results would have 
come to fruit earlier. 

MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN POPE. With General Pope I was 
not so well acquainted. I never had more than three or four 
personal interviews with him. 

He did not recognize my position when he came into com 
mand, although McDowell told him he was making a great 
mistake. He seemed to think it a simple matter to run a railroad, 
and that his Quartermasters could manage it. I, therefore, 
returned to Massachusetts, but was soon recalled by Assistant 
Secretary Watson with the. information that there was not a wheel 
moving on any of the roads. 


In the interview on the battlefield of Cedar Mountain he was 
quite courteous, and directed his Chief of Staff, Colonel Ruggles, 
to issue any order I might dictate. This was the first interview; 
the second was on the banks of the Kappahannock when, from the 
reports made in my presence, I suspected a flank movement, of 
which Pope thought there was no danger, but which was then 
actually taking place, and from which I narrowly escaped capture 
at Catlett s. 

The next interview was after the battle, when Pope and 
McDowell gave me a full account, in their camp, from which I 
formed and maintained for years very unfavorable impressions of 
the conduct of Fitz John Porter, which were not removed until 
Porter s counsel, John C. Bullit, of Philadelphia, put in my 
hands the testimony before the court. This modified my opinion 
so far as this particular officer is concerned, but I still think that 
if there had been proper cooperation on the part of the Army of 
the Potomac under General McClellan, a complete victory would 
have been gained, 

As to Pope s generalship, I do not feel competent to express 
an opinion, but McDowell, on whose judgment I relied, considered 
him an officer of more than ordinary ability. 

lan was the idol of the army and the favorite of the public. He 
was the very antipode of McDowell in his characteristics. He 
possessed personal magnetism, was affable and courteous, treated 
newspaper reporters with the greatest consideration, and they in 
return wrote him up as a hero, as they falsely wrote down 
McDowell as a brute. The newspapers, much more than military 
capacity or achievement, made the public sentiment of the army 
and of the people. 

I was not a participant in McClellan s operations on the 
Peninsula, but I had much to do with him after his return. His 
first interview with me, which continued some hours, impressed me 
with the idea that his caution was excessive, and that he was not 
a man to incur risks or assume responsibilities, which opinion was 
not changed upon further acquaintance. He did not seem anxious 
to get his army into the fight at Manassas, but rather to make the 
capital secure by placing his men in the forts surrounding it, and 
telegraphed that he did not despair of saving the capital, when 
perhaps no one else supposed the capital could be in any danger. 

He gained a splendid victory at Antietam, where good 
generalship seems to have been exhibited, but he suffered his 
beaten enemy to escape. I am not disposed, however, to criticise 
this fact too severely. It may not have been possible to prevent it. 


Lee had bridges there, which he did not possess after his retreat 
from Gettysburg. 

The battle of Antietam was on the 17th, and on the 19th Lee 
was across. It would have required a knowledge of Lee s intentions 
and far greater celerity of movement than was exhibited by the 
Army of the Potomac, or any other of the Armies of the East, to 
have prevented this movement. Stonewall Jackson might have 
done it. I know of no one else who could. Jackson could follow 
up an advantage and not lose the fruits of victory by stopping to 
rest. I may be in error, but such is my opinion. 

After Antietam there was a long delay before starting in 
pursuit. The General was always wanting something, and when 
that something was supplied he would think of something more, 
until at last the long-tried patience of the President was exhausted 
and, in reply to a statement that the horses were fatigued, he 
begged to be informed what the horses had been doing since the 
battle of Antietam that would fatigue anything. 

My observations of McClellan would lead me to characterize 
him as The Unready. 

John Covode, a Congressman from Pennsylvania, in his 
homely phraseology, used to say that "McClellan has been raised to 
so high a pinnacle that he is afraid to move in any direction for 
fear that he will fall and break his neck." 

have been the failings of General Burnside, it cannot be charged 
that he was characterized by any large amount of self-conceit. I 
accompanied General Halleck, at his request, on the occasion of 
the visit to camp when Burnside was appointed to succeed McClel 
lan. He was very reluctant to accept it; declared emphatically 
that he was not fit for it ; that there were many better men in the 
service, but that if the President and General Halleck insisted 
upon it, he would do the best he could, and could promise no more. 

Burnside had not the system and order which distinguished 
McDowell, and his ideas of practical operations were sometimes 
very crude. On one occasion he wanted a new wharf built below 
Acquia Creek, and asked me how much time would be required. 

I answered, "About three weeks." He exclaimed, "three 
weeks! I want it in three days. I will detail twenty thousand 
men for the service. " 

I explained that more than a limited number of men could not 
work ; they would only be in the way, and that some time would be 
required to collect tools and material. His idea seemed to be that 
if 50,000 days work were required to complete a structure, he 
could detail 50,000 men and do it in one day. 


Burnside had promised to give no orders about rail trans 
portation, except through me, but he sometimes forgot and gave 
orders to subordinates which invariably led to trouble. 

His movement to Fal mouth was not upon the lines indicated 
by the President and General Halleck as the best, and was 
probably a mistake, but he was allowed to use his own judgment. 

A greater mistake was made in his assault on the heights at 
Fredericksburg. which were too strong to be taken in front. If 
there had been more prompt movement of his forces on the left 
flank, the position might have been taken ; but this is simply my 
opinion. I was with Burnside during the battle. This battle 
was the only event of importance during General Burnside s 
career, which was brief, and General Hooker became his successor. 

MAJOR-GENERAL JOSEPH HOOKER. In conferring the com 
mand upon General Hooker, the President wrote one of his 
characteristic letters, in which he told him that he had placed him 
in command, not for the things that he had done, but in spite of 

I well remember Hooker when he came to West Point as a 
cadet, .1 remarkably handsome youth with a florid complexion, 
which he always retained. 

Hooker s accession to the command was followed by a long 
period of cessation of military operations, during which my Corps 
was occupied in the shops and yards of Alexandria in preparing 
for the "On to Richmond" movement in the spring. 

My relations with Hooker were entirely satisfactory. He 
never interfered with transportation movements, and communi 
cated his plans to me confidentially, so that I should be fully 
prepared when a movement was commenced. 

Of the personal habits of General Hooker I am unable to 
speak. He was charged with fondness for stimulants, but I never 
saw him when I thought he was under their influence. 

When the movement commenced in the spring of 1863, a 
heavy rainfall embarrassed his movements by rendering roads 
almost impassable, causing delays which betrayed his movements 
to the enemy, and compelled him to modify his original plans. 

The retreat after Chancellorsville was not approved by some 
of his besfCorps Commanders, especially by Reynolds and Meade, 
and was probably a serious error, as his forces at the time were 
said to have been superior to those of the enemy. 

My report to General Halleck of the interview with General 
Hooker at Fairfax had probably much influence upon the prompt 
itude with which his request to be relieved was acted upon; but 
he would no doubt have been retired if the request had not been 


graduated from West Point in 1835, in the same class with myself. 
His class rank was 19 in a class of fifty-six members. He was not 
distinguished at the Military Academy by any prominent charac 
teristics., was dignified, courteous and gentlemanly, but rather 
reserved and without personal magnetism. I was not particularly 
intimate with him while at the Academy. 

General Meade married a daughter of the distinguished 
lawyer, John Sargent, of Philadelphia, and upon making a call 
upon him after his marriage, I was introduced to Henry A. Wise. 
of Virginia, who had married another daughter. 

After this, our next meeting was in the Army of the Potomac. 

His appointment to the command of the army was wholly 
unexpected and, under the circumstances, a crushing weight of 
responsibility was imposed upon him. He had no knowledge of 
where the enemy was, or where his own forces were scattered, and 
it is difficult to conceive of a more embarrassing position. 

Good fortune directed my steps to Harrisburg on the night of 
June 30. After hearing the reports of the movement of the enemy 
I was able to interpret them correctly, and advised Meade the same 
night by telegraph and courier that Lee was concentrating his 
forces at Gettysburg to fall upon and crush his Army Corps in 
detail, before they could be concentrated. 

The battle commenced by an attack upon the First Corps. 
Its able commander, John F. Reynolds, was killed and his men 
were driven back, fighting through the town to the Cemetery 
Ridge, which was a very strong position, and where a stand was 
made until reinforcements could arrive and the whole army was 
concentrated at that point. 

General Meade arrived on the second day. He had no inten 
tion of fighting a battle at Gettysburg. His intention, as he told 
me in the interview on Sunday after the battle, was to fall back 
towards Baltimore and occupy a defensive position along Pipe 
Creek, but circumstances beyond his control changed his plans. 

That Meade allowed the fruits of his brilliant victory to be 
lost by tardy movement is as undeniable as it was unfortunate. 
Lee retreated July 4, and did not get across the Potomac until 
July 14 double the time that would have been necessary, under 
skillful engineers, to build bridges and make his escape. 

I have no wish to detract from the high reputation won by 
General Meade at Gettysburg, but, while I was not sure that 
McClellan could have prevented the escape of Lee at Antietam, I 
was just as sure that Meade could have succeeded after Gettys 
burg. I was well acquainted with all the country to the Potomac 
and knew all the roads and the topography. I had gone to Gettys 
burg in 1836 to locate the Gettysburg Railroad across the South 


Mountain to Hagerstown, had married in Gettysburg and lived 
there ten years, part of the time as Professor of Mathematics and 
Civil Engineering in Pennsylvania College. 

The residence which I built on the Seminary Eidge was in 
the battlefield, and one of Longstreet s batteries was in front of 
this house, and from what I know of the country along the 
Potomac, it would be difficult to convince me that prompt move 
ment would not have insured the capture of Lee s army and ended 
the war then and there. 

I had myself, when locating the railroad, walked from a 
more distant point on the Potomac to Gettysburg in one day, and 
could not believe that it was impossible for troops to march a 
shorter distance in two days. 

GENERAL U. S. GRANT. I never met General Grant in the 
army and had formed an unfavorable opinion of him as a man 
who was not naturally gifted, of not more than ordinary intelli 
gence, taciturn because he had nothing to say, and whose elevation 
was due more to favorable circumstances than to genius; his 
successes to the weakness and exhaustion of his adversary and his 
own unlimited resources. 

But T was mistaken. At the celebration of the opening of 
the Northern Pacific Railroad, General Grant and also Generals 
Cass and Newton and Secretary Evarts had been assigned to the 
sections of the train under my special charge, and to my private 
car. I was with him daily for a week, during which time I had 
a good opportunity of becoming well acquainted with my special 

I found General Grant really very well informed, his conver- 
^ational powers much above the average, his affability and 
condescension to inferiors great, no affectation or conceit about 
the man, but perfect simplicity and disregard of self. At the 
various stations the assembled crowd cheered for Grant. They 
seemed to care for no one else. When they called for a speech, he 
said that speech-making was not his forte; that he had brought 
Secretary Evarts with him who was an accomplished orator, and, 
as he had communicated his ideas to him, Secretary Evarts 
speeches might be regarded as an expression of his own opinions. 

Women crowded around the platforms, holding up their 
infants to be kissed. To see Grant was the great event of their 
lives, something to talk over at their humble firesides and transmit 
the narrative to children s children. 

General Grant shook hands with all who offered, although 
frequent ablutions were rendered necessary as a consequence. 
During the whole trip he touched no stimulants; in fact, the 
occupants of my car formed a very dry party. 



THE operations of the Construction Corps during the campaigns 
of 1862 and 1863, under my leadership, had raised it to a 
condition of marvelous efficiency. Colonel D. C. McCallum, who 
had been my predecessor and who became my successor, was a 
thorough master of transportation, when he could be relieved from 
military interference and have a telegraphic line under his entire 
control conditions that did not exist previous to my charge. 

New cadets, or "plebes," as they are called at West Point, 
regard cadets in the higher classes with great veneration, and, 
after leaving the Academy, junior graduates retain respect for 
their seniors. This was, no doubt, of advantage to me in assuming 
charge of the Military Railroads. With the exception of General 
Hcintzelman, there was no Corps or Army Commander that I can 
recall whose first commission in the army antedated my own. 

This fact, in connection with the order making my authority 
supreme, effectually put a stop to that scourge of Military Rail 
roads, interference and conflicting orders by the different com 
manders along the lines. 

McCallum was a civilian, and civilians were considered as 
entitled to no respect when the convenience of officers was involved. 
I do not, therefore, claim that the improved condition of affairs, 
after I took charge, was due to superior ability. 

D. C. MCCALLUM. D. C. McCallum had been for many 
years the General Superintendent of the Erie Railroad, and was 
one of the most experienced managers in the country. He could 
sit in his ISTew York office and move his trains by telegraph with 
the utmost precision, but the conditions were widely different on 
the Military Railroads. When the wires were not down they were 
in use by the military authorities, who would not allow them to 
be interrupted. 

McCallum was a splendid office man, thoroughly familiar 
with every detail of requisitions, accounts and red-tape, which I 
|7as not- Moreover, I did not care to learn, so it did not take 
long to come to a perfect understanding and division of duties 



which suited us both. McCallum took the office and I took the 
field, and did not trouble myself with accounts, except when 
matters of claims were referred to me, as they frequently were by 
the Secretary of War, for investigation and report. 

WILLIAM H. WHITON. William. II. Whiton was Chief 
Clerk. He was a gentleman of education, intelligence, inde 
pendent circumstances and high social position. He had married 
a daughter of Mr. Lord, the first President of the Erie Rail 
road, and owned a fine estate on the Hudson River near Piermont. 
His reasons for accepting the position of Chief Clerk were 
patriotism and personal friendship for McCallum. He was a 
thorough accountant, and the right man in the right place. 

JOHN II. DEVEREUX. I had no acquaintance with J". H. 
L evereux before I took charge of the Military Railroads, and my 
first impressions were not favorable. He was a warm friend of 
McCallum, whom I superseded, and there was naturally some 
dissatisfaction in consequence of this change, which was shared by 
many others; but further acquaintance broke the ice, and when 
we knew each other our relations became fraternal. Our friend 
ship continued until his death. 

Devereux was a man of superior and cultivated intellect, an 
accomplished gentleman, a zealous and active churchman, a con 
scientious Christian, a master of all transportation details, and a 
man of great powers of endurance. He could remain at his post 
for nights in succession without sleep ; his discipline was kind but 
inflexible, and his judgment almost infallible. 

After retiring from the service he became General Superin 
tendent of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad, and was one day 
surprised by the visit of a committee who tendered him the Presi 
dency of an important line of railroad centering in Cleveland, 
with a salary of $25,000 per annum and a bonus, in addition, of 
$100,000. This position he accepted and retained until his death, 
recognized as one of the leading railroad men of the country. 

While connected with the Military Railroads, he managed the 
transportation on the roads centering in Alexandria, and a more 
efficient Superintendent could not have been found. 

As a churchman he was usually one of the lay delegates in 
Episcopal conventions and took a prominent part in their 

ADNA ANDERSON. General Anderson was another individual 
with whom I had no acquaintance until after my connection with 
the Military Railroads. He was quiet and taciturn, and although 


I saw him frequently as I passed through the office, we seldom 
spoke to each other, and I took but little notice of him. 

One day Devereux said to me : "Do not be offended at the 
liberty I propose to take, but I have observed that you have little 
or nothing to say to Anderson. You do not know him. If you 
would cultivate him. you would find him to be a very superior 

I did cultivate him from that time and did find him to be 
very superior. He was not only an able, intelligent and scientific 
civil engineer, but also thoroughly familiar with all details of 
transportation and accounts. 

I gave him charge of the Construction Corps as Chief Engi 
neer., and whenever there w r as any duty to perform requiring 
prompt action, energy and sound judgment, Anderson was the 
man above all others that I called upon to assume the charge. He 
it was who managed the transportation so successfully over the 
Western Maryland Railroad during the battle of Gettysburg, and 
he had charge of the Construction Corps during Sherman s cele 
brated campaign, although Sherman probably did not know him 
and did not give him credit for the results to which his own 
success and reputation were largely due. 

After the war I saw but little of Anderson until 1881, when 
we were again brought into contact on the Northern Pacific Rail 
road. He was Chief Engineer of Construction, and I the General 
Manager of Transportation. 

WILLIAM W WEIGHT. William W. Wright had been my 
pupil at Gettysburg in mathematics and engineering, and my 
Assistant Engineer on the Pennsylvania Railroad, where his 
intelligence, activity and efficiency gave me great satisfaction. 
Knowing him to be the man for the place, I gave him charge of 
the transportation on the Acquia Creek & Fredericksburg Rail 
road, which \vas well managed. 

He accompanied General Sherman in his march to the sea, 
and managed the transportation on the whole system of Military 
Railroads used in that memorable campaign, securing results 
which, considering the difficulties encountered, were truly 

General Sherman has referred to Wright in his Memoirs in 
terms of the highest commendation, but T regret that he overlooked 
Anderson and Smeed, without whose efficient service in construc 
tion no transportation could have been effected : but these gentle 
men were in the field, and at a distance, and did not come under 
the eye of the General in command, while Wright spent much of 
his time at Headquarters, and an opportunity was offered for 
better acquaintance. 


E. C. SMEED. I may be considered extravagant in the strong 
expressions of commendation I have used in regard to members of 
my staff in the Construction and Transportation Corps of the 
Military Railroads, but amongst them all Smeed is the man whom 
I most delight to honor, and especially so as Generals Sherman 
and McCallum, while making favorable mention of others, have 
omitted entirely the man whom I consider most worthy of especial 

Before the war Smeed held a subordinate position on the 
Catawissa Eailroad in Pennsylvania as a Eoad Supervisor, in 
charge of bridges and trestles. He came to Virginia in the employ 
of Daniel Stone as a foreman of carpenters, and was with a 
number of others assigned to me when I commenced work on the 
Fredericksburg Railroad. 

He attracted my attention by the manner in which he handled 
his men, and at the Potomac Creek bridge I placed him in general 
charge of all the gangs. He was the best organizer of work I ever 
saw, possessed unlimited resources in adopting expedients to secure 
rapid progress. 

If he could not get the material he wanted, he would use what 
he could get. If trees or buildings were near, he would never 
delay work to wait for transportation. 

A spirit of emulation was encouraged in his gangs, and they 
would rival each other to secure the greatest daily progress. 
Without Smeed I never would have been able to build the 
Potomac Creek bridge in the space of time which General 
McDowell thought so wonderful a performance. 

Smeed was a man without education, reserved, diffident and 
slow to make the acquaintance of strangers, but he was a close 
student and in time became an expert mathematician, and able to 
make the most intricate calculations on the strains of bridges and 

Srneed s inventive genius produced the simple, portable and 
efficient apparatus which destroyed track and twisted rails so they 
could not be again used, and it was chiefly through Smeed s efforts, 
working night and day, through rain or sunshine, that the 
numerous bridges on the Northern Central and Gettysburg Rail 
roads were reconstructed in about five days, and General Meade 
placed in communication with Washington, both by rail and tele 
graph, on the very next day after Lee s retreat a result which, 
Meade told me, he had not believed possible for two weeks. 

Smeed accompanied General Sherman s army in his march to 
the sea, and had charge of bridge construction. The Trumpet of 
Fame has never published his exploits of that period. I never saw 
them noticed in bulletins, or by the press, but his Chattahoochee 


bridge is the greatest feat of the kind that the world has ever seen. 

Without Smeed, Sherman s military railroads could not have 
been reconstructed with the celerity with which the work was 
accomplished. Without the roads, there could have been no trans 
portation of supplies; without supplies the army could not have 
moved in the enemy s country and the campaign would have been 
a failure. Let Smeed have the credit that is due to him. 

After the war, by force of merit, Smeed raised himself to a 
high position ; became Chief Engineer of the Kansas Pacific Rail 
road, where Jay Gould discovered his value. I tried to get him 
with me on the Northern Pacific, but Gould bid $4,000 per year 
higher than I could bid and I had to let him stay. 

Such were the men who formed my staff on the Military Rail 
roads, and to whom the merit of results was largely due. If I can 
claim credit for myself, it is chiefly in discovering their qualifi 
cations, and in placing them in positions to render them available. 

There were others, and many others, worthy of mention, but 
I cannot refer to them individually. There was G. W. Nagle and 
his three brothers, George Speer and other bridge foremen, each 
with his own permanent gang; men who could run on planks on 
tops of high trestles with the agility of squirrels. There was 
Tinglepaugh, who managed the drove of oxen ^"Ilaupt s horned 
cavalry" as they were called whose services were invaluable. 

Many of the conductors had been brought by Thomas A. 
Scott, when Assistant Secretary of War, from the Pennsylvania 
Railroad. Some of them had been appointed by me when I was 
General Superintendent of the road, and a more efficient set of 
men could not have been found. 

The train dispatchers and operators were also entitled to 
much credit. They occupied advanced positions near the enemy 
to report his movements and held positions after the military had 
retired until nearly surrounded, then escaped through the bushes. 
One of the most efficient (McCrickett) was killed by guerrillas. 
The engine on which he was riding was switched off the track on 
a high embankment by means of a telegraph wire attached to a 
rail and pulled by men concealed in a thicket. Several others were 
killed at the same time. 

Engineers and firemen were so often fired upon that it became 
necessary to use boiler plate cabs for their protection, but they 
never hesitated to perform a duty, and volunteers could always be 
found for extra-hazardous risks, of which there were many. 

Most of these men have gone to their rest unhonored and 
unknown, but their fidelity and sacrifices entitle them to as much 
consideration as those, who, occupying higher positions, were more 


conspicuous marks for public favor. There is one at least, who 
can appreciate their services and who takes pride in doing justice 
to their memory. 

They wrought night and day without intermission when a 
necessity for such service existed ; they knew just what to do and 
how to do it; they laid track and built bridges at night by the 
light of lanterns, uttering no complaint, and defying storms and 

With the exception of the superior officers and the foremen, 
the Construction Corps consisted almost entirely of so-called 
"contrabands/ Thousands of these refugees had nocked into 
Washington, and from them were selected several hundred healthy, 
able-bodied men familiar with the use of the ax. These Africans 
worked with enthusiasm, and each gang with a laudable emulation 
to excel others in the progress made in a given time. 

In rebuilding to restore communications, permanency was 
not considered. Tt was not a question of months, or of weeks, as 
in erecting permanent structures, but one of hours. 

The Potomac Creek bridge was reconstructed, as General 
McDowell declared, in as many days as the former structure, 
which it replaced, had required months, and yet for all the 
purposes of the campaign it was just as useful. The nineteen 
bridges destroyed by the enemy on the Northern Central Railroad 
were rebuilt in a few days, and all the bridges on the branches 
leading to Gettysburg were reconstructed during the battle, 
communication with Washington being re-established by noon of 
the day after Lee *s retreat! 

While Generals who fought the battles have been eulogized 
and costly statues erected to their memories, the humble Corps, 
through whose fidelity and efficiency victories were rendered 
possible, have found no historian to do them honor. 

If there ever should be recognition of their great services, the 
faithful contrabands will be justly entitled to their share; no 
other class of men would have exhibited so much patience and 
endurance under days and nights of continued and sleepless labor. 



WASHINGTON, July 26, 1861. 
To the Officers U.S. A.: 

Please furnish, upon requisitions from A. Carnejie,* Superin 
tendent in charge of railways, such facilities, rations, etc., as he may 
desire for the forces under his charge. 

General Manager Government Railways and Telegraphs. 

AN ACT to authorize the President of the United States in certain 
cases to take possession of railroad and telegraph lines, and for 
other purposes. 

Be it enacted ly the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President 
of the United States, when in his judgment the public safety may 
require it, be, and he is hereby, authorized to take possession of any or 
all the telegraph lines in the United States, their offices and appur 
tenances; to take possession of any or all the railroad lines in the 
United States, their rolling stock, their offices, shops, buildings, and 
all their appendages and appurtenances; to prescribe rules and regula 
tions for the holding, using, and maintaining of the aforesaid telegraph 
and railroad lines, and to extend, repair, and complete the same, in 
the manner most conducive to the safety and interest of the Govern 
ment; to place under military control all the officers, agents, and 
employes belonging to the telegraph and railroad lines thus taken 
possession of by the President, so that they shall be considered as a 
post road and a part of the military establishment of the United 
States, subject to all the restrictions imposed by the Rules and Articles 
of War. 

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That any attempt by any party 
or parties whomsoever, in any State or District in which the laws of the 
United States are opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed by insur 
gents and rebels against the United States, too powerful to be suppressed 
by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, to resist or interfere with 
the unrestrained use by Government of the property described in the 
preceding section, or any attempt to injure or destroy the property 
aforesaid, shall be punished as a military offense, by death, or such 
other penalty as a court martial may impose. 

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That three commissioners shall 
be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Senate, to assess and determine the damages 
suffered, or the compensation to which any railroad or telegraph 

* Andrew Carnegie, the great ironmaster and philanthropist. 



company may be entitled by reason of the railroad or telegraph line 
being seized and used under the authority conferred by this act, and 
their award shall be submitted to Congress for their action. 

SEC. 4. And ~be it further enacted, That the transportation of 
troops, munitions of war, equipments, military property and stores, 
throughout the United States, shall be under the immediate control 
and supervision of the Secretary of War and such agents as he may 
appoint; and all rules, regulations, articles, usages, and laws in 
-conflict with this provision are hereby annulled. 

SEC. 5. And l>e it further enacted, That the compensation of 
each of the commissioners aforesaid, shall be eight dollars per day 
while in actual service; and that the provisions of this act, so far as 
it relates to the operating and using said railroads and telegraphs, 
shall not be in force any longer than is necessary for the suppression 
of this rebellion. 

Approved January 31, 1862. 



With few exceptions, the operations of the Military Railroads 
have beon conducted under orders issued by the Secretary of War, or 
"by army commanders in the field. 

During February, 1862, I received the following important verbal 
order from the Secretary of War: "I shall expect you to have on hand 
at all times the necessary men and materials to enable you to comply 
promptly with any order given, nor must there ~be any failure" 

It was made the duty of the Director and General Manager to 
arrange the Military Railroad oganization upon a basis sufficiently 
comprehensive to permit the extension of the system indefinitely; to 
perfect the modus operandi for working the various lines; to determine 
as to the number of men to be employed in the several departments, 
and the compensation to be paid therefor; the amount and kind of 
machinery to be purchased, and the direction as to the distribution of 
the same. 

Having had a somewhat extensive railroad experience, both before 
and since the Rebellion, I consider this order of the Secretary of 
War to have been the very foundation of success; without it the whole 
railroad system, which has proved an importont element in con- 
ducting military movements, would have been not only a costly but 
ludicrous failure. The fact should be understood that the management 
of railroads is just as much a distinct profession as is that of the art 
of war, and should be so regarded. 

The difficulty of procuring a sufficient force of competent railroad 
men, both in the construction and transportation departments, was 
almost insurmountable. Owing to the peculiar nature of the service 
and the rapid expansion of the railroad system, the supply of railroad 
operatives in the country has always been limited ; many had entered the 
army in various positions, thus diminishing the actual number in civil 
life, while the stimulus imparted by the war to the business of Northern 
railroads had greatly enhanced the value of the services of those who 
remained at their posts, thus rendering the home demand for skillful 
labor far in advance of the supply. When the large number of men 
necessary to equip these military lines were sought for, it was extremely 
difficult to induce those who were really valuable to leave secure positions 
enter upon a new and untried field of action. 


The difference between civil and military railroad service is 
marked and decided. Not only were the men continually exposed to 
great danger from the regular forces of the enemy, guerrillas, scouting 
parties, etc., but, owing to the circumstances under which military 
railroads must be constructed and operated, what are considered the 
ordinary risks upon civil railroads are vastly increased on military lines. 

The hardships, exposure, and perils to which trainmen especially 
were subjected during the movements incident to an active campaign 
were much greater than that endured by any other class of civil 
employes of the Government equalled only by that of the soldier while 
engaged in a raid into the enemy s country. It was by no means 
unusual for men to be out witli their trains from five to ten days, 
without sleep > except what could be snatched upon their engines and 
cars while the same were standing to be loaded or unloaded, with but 
scanty food, or perhaps no food at all, for days together, while con 
tinually occupied in a manner to keep every faculty strained to its 
utmost. Many incidents during the war, but more especially during 
the Atlanta campaign, exhibited a fortitude, endurance, and self- 
devotion on the part of these men not exceeded in any branch of the 
service. All were thoroughly imbued with the fact that upon the 
success of railroad operations, in forwarding supplies to the front, 
depended, in great part, the success of our armies ; that although defeat 
might be the result, even if supplies were abundantly furnished, it was 
evident there could be no advance without; and I hazard nothing in 
saying, that should failure have taken place either in keeping the lines 
in repair or in operating them, General Sherman s campaign, instead 
of proving, as it did, a great success, would have resulted in disaster 
and defeat; and the greater the army to supply the more precarious 
its position. Since the end of the rebellion I have been informed by 
railroad officers who were in the service of the enemy during the war, 
"that they were less surprised at the success of General Sherman, in a 
military point of view, than they were at the rapidity with which rail 
road breaks were repaired and the regularity with which trains were 
moved to the front;" and it was only when the method of operating 
was fully explained that it could be comprehended. 

The attempt to furnish an army of one hundred thousand 
(100,000) men and sixty thousand (60,000) animals with supplies from 
a base three hundred and sixty (360) miles distant, by one line of 
single-track railroad, located almost the entire distance through the 
country of an active and most vindictive enemy, is without precedent 
in the history of warfare, and to make it successful required an enor 
mous outlay for labor and a vast consumption of material, together 
with all the forethought, energy, patience, and watchfulness of which 
men are capable. 

This line, from the fact of its great length, was imperfectly 
guarded, as troops could not be spared from the front for that purpose. 
This rendered the railroad service one of great risk and hazard, and 
at times it was only by the force of military authority that men could 
be held to service. As an item showing the real danger attending 
military railroad operations, it may be stated that during the last six 
months of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865, the wrecking train 
picked up and carried to Nashville sixteen (16) wrecked locomotives 
and two hundred and ninety-four (294) car-loads of car wheels, bridge 
iron, etc. These wrecks were caused by guerrillas and rebel ra.ids. 


The Chattanooga & Atlanta, or Western & Atlantic Kailroad 
extends from Chattanooga to Atlanta, 136 miles, with a branch from 
Kingston to Rome seventeen miles long. 

The reconstruction and maintenance of this line was, in many 
respects, the most difficult of any military railroad operations during 
the war. By it the Confederate army under General Johnston made 
its retreat from Buzzard Roost to Atlanta; and in falling back from 
one strong position to another it did such damage to the road as was 
supposed would delay or prevent Sherman s pursuit, but in this it was 
unsuccessful. However great the damage done, it was so speedily 
repaired that General Sherman soon ceased to fear any delay from this 
cause, and made his advance movements with perfect confidence that 
the railroad in his rear would be "all right." 

Being, from the nature of the case, entirely ignorant of the 
obstacles to be encountered at each advance, the construction force was 
at all times prepared for any emergency either to build bridges of 
formidable dimensions, or lay miles of track, or, perhaps, push back to 
some point on the line and repair damages done by guerrillas or raiding 
parties. These attacks on the line to the rear were of such frequent 
occurrence, and often of so serious a character, that to insure speedy 
repairs it became necessary to station detachments of the Construction 
Corps at various points along the road, and also to collect supplies of 
construction materials, such as iron, rails, chairs, spikes, cross-ties, and 
bridge timber, at points where they would be comparatively safe and 
easily obtained when required. These precautionary measures proved 
to be of the utmost importance in keeping the road open. 

The detachments stationed along the line were composed of bridge- 
builders and track-layers, with an ample supply of tools for all kinds of 
work. Each detachment was under the command of a competent 
engineer or supervisor, who had orders to move in either direction, 
within certain limits, as soon as a break occurred, and make the neces 
sary repairs without delay, working day and night when necessary. 
Under this arrangement small breaks were repaired at once, at any 
point on the line, even when the telegraph wires were cut and special 
orders could not be communicated to the working parties. When "big 
breaks" occurred, one or more divisions of the Construction Corps were 
moved as rapidly as possible thereto, either from Chattanooga or the 
front. Construction trains, loaded with the requisite tools and materials, 
were kept ready at each end of the road to move at a moment s notice. 

Guerrillas and raiding parties were more or less successful in 
destroying portions of track during the whole time we held this line; 
but the crowning effort was made by the enemy in October, 1864, when 
Hood, getting to Sherman s rear, threw his whole army on the road 
first at Big Shanty, and afterward north of Resaca and destroyed in 
the aggregate thirty-five and one-half miles of track and 455 lineal feet 
of bridges, killing and capturing a large number of our men. 
Fortunately, however, the detachments of the Construction Corps which 
escaped were so distributed that even before Hood had left the road two 
strong working parties were at work, one on each end of the break at 
Big Shanty, and this gap of ten miles was closed and the force ready 
to move to the great break of twenty-five miles in length north of 
Resaca as soon as the enemy had left it. The destruction by Hood s 
army of our depots of supplies compelled us to cut nearly all the cross- 
ties required to re-lay this track, and to send a distance for rails. 


The cross-ties were cut near the line of the road, and many of them 
carried by hand to the track, as the teams to be furnished for hauling 
them did not get to the work until it was nearly completed. The rails 
used on the southern end of the break had to be taken up and brought 
from the railroads south of Atlanta, and those for the northern end were 
mostly brought from Nashville, nearly two hundred miles distant. 

Notwithstanding all the disadvantages under which the labor was 
performed, this twenty-five miles of track was laid and the trains were 
running over it in seven and a half days from the time the work was 

The economy so commendable and essential upon civil railroads 
was compelled to give way to the lavish expenditure of war; and the 
question to be answered was not, "How much will it cost?" but rather, 
"Can it be done at any cost?" 

The greatest number of men employed at the same date during 
the war was : 

In Virginia 4.542 

In North Carolina 3,387 

In military division of the Mississippi 17,035 

Total number of men 24,964 

The total number of miles operated. 

In Virginia 611 

In North Carolina 293 

In military division of the Mississippi 1,201 

Total 2,105 

The number of engines. 

In Virginia 72 

In North Carolina 38 

In military division of the Mississippi 260 

In Georgia 14 

Provided but not used 35 

Total 419 

The number of cars. 

In Virginia 1,733 

In North Carolina 422 

In military division of the Mississippi 3,383 

In Georgia * 213 

Provided but not used . . 579 

Total 6,330 

Lineal feet of bridges built or rebuilt. 

In Virginia 34,931 

In North Carolina 3,263 

In Missouri 1,680 

In military division of the Mississippi 97,544 

Total number of feet 137,418 

Or twenty-six miles and one hundred and thirty-eight feet. 

The length of trade laid or relaid. 

Miles. Feet. 

In Virginia 177 2,961 

In North Carolina 30 4,632 

In mil tary division of the Mississippi 433 2,323 

Total 641 4,636 


The following statement exhibits the amount expended during the 
war in constructing and operating the United States Military Railroads, 
said sum having been furnished from the appropriation made for the 
expenditures of the Quartermaster s Department: 


For labor $5,227,145 24 

For materials 4,920,317 27 

$10,147,462 51 

North Carolina. 

For labor 1,086,224 60 

For materials 1,510,435 45 

2,596,660 05 

Military Division of the Mississippi. 

For labor 16,792,193 05 

For materials 1 2,870,588 06 

- 29,662,78111 

Department of the Gulf. 
For materials 55,238 88 

Total ................................................. 42,462,142 55 

Property sold under Executive Order of August 8, 1865 7,428,204 96 
Property sold for cash .............. .............. 3,466,739 33 

Receipts from passengers and freight ............... 1,525,493 04 

Receipts from hire of rolling stock ................. 103,528 50 

Property on hand (estimated) ..................... 100,000 00 

Net expenditures ....................................... $29,838,176 72 

It was impossible for this Department to keep an accurate account 
of the persons and material transported, as whole corps and even armies, 
with all their artillery and equipments, were moved upon verbal orders 
from commanders sometimes hundreds of miles, and frequently in face 
of the enemy. As an illustration, one of the largest movements of this 
character was that of the Fourth Army Corps in 1865, from Carter s 
Station, in East Tennessee, to Nashville, three hundred and seventy- 
three (373) miles, and which employed one thousand four hundred and 
ninety-eight (1,498) cars. 

In conclusion permit me to say that the Government was peculiarly 
fortunate in securing the services of civilian officers of great nerve, 
honesty, and capability, to whom the whole country owes a debt of 

Among them I take the liberty of naming, as principal assistants : 
A. Anderson, Chief Superintendent and Engineer; Colonel W. W. 
Wright, Chief Engineer in the Military Division of the Mississippi, 
and Chief Engineer and General Superintendent in the Department of 
North Carolina; J. J. Moore, General Superintendent and Chief Engi 
neer of Kailroads in Virginia; E . L. Wentz, General Superintendent 
and Chief Engineer of Eailroads in Virginia, and afterward for a time 
General Superintendent of Railroads in the Division of the Mississippi ; 
W. J. Stevens, General Superintendent of United States Military Rail 
roads, Division of the Mississippi; L. H. Eicholtz, Acting Chief 
Engineer, Military Division of the Mississippi, during the absence of 
Colonel W. W. Wright in North Carolina; A. F. Goodhue, Engineer 
and Superintendent Military Railroads, West Tennessee and Arkansas. 
Also the following commissioned officers : Brevet Brigadier- General H* 


L. Robinson, Acting Quartermaster, Washington, D. C. ; Brevet Major 

F. J. Crilly, Acting Quartermaster, Nashville, Tennessee; and Captain 

G. S. Roper, Commissary of Subsistence, Nashville, Tennessee. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, 
Your obedient servant, 

Brevet Brigadier-General, Director and General Manager 

Military Railroads United States. 
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, 

Secretary of War. 


Anderson, A. A., 185, 213, 216, 236, 

240, 244, 247, 253, 275, 277, 289, 

290, 293, 313, 314, 325. 
Andrew, Gov. J. A., xxiii, xxiv, xxv, 

xxvi, xxviii, xxix, xxxii, xxxiii, 43, 


Appleton & Co., D., xvi. 
Arthur, Pres. C. A., 224. 
Augur, Gen., 63. 

Banks, Gen. N. P., xxiii, xxxiii, 50, 76, 
118, 120, 125, 126, 155. 

Barksdale, Gen., 223. 

Barnard, Gen., 108. 

Barstow, Capt. S., 46, 269. 

Beckwith, E. G., 75. 

Belger, Q. M., 139, 165. 

Benson, B. D., xxxv. 

Bickford, 104. 

Biddle, Col., 47. 

Bird, Frank, xxxiii. 

Bollman truss, xiv. 

Boyle, 104. 

Boutwell, Geo. S., xxiv. 

Breck, S., 55. 

Brown, Maj., 47. 

Bullitt, J. C., xxvi. 

Bull Run (Second Battle of) xxx, 69, 
(bridge) 84, 86, 89, 90, 91, 101, 
(Two Perilous Days at) 116. 

Burnside, Gen. A. E., 147, 150, 158, 
160, 166, 168, 169, 170, 176, 177, 
178, 179, 180, 183, 184, 185, 187, 
194, 196, 207, 271, 272, 306, 309. 

Butterfield, Gen., 194. 

Cameron, Mr., 219. 

Cameron, Simon, 246. 

Carnegie, Andrew, 320. 

Carroll, 120. 

Cass, Gen., 311. 

Campbell, H. R,, xiv. 

Cedar Mountain, 108. 

Chandler, Col., 106. 

Chapin, C. W., xxi, xxxiii. 

Chase, S. P., 46. 

Choate.J. H., xxvi. 

Churchill, 123. 

Clark, John, 279. 

Clarke, Col. J. C., 120, 156, 293. 

Cleary, Col., 115. 

Close, Col., 110. 

Clough, Gen. J. B., 107, 110, 124, 128, 

130, 137, 216, 276. 
Colburn, Col. A. V., 129, 133, 150, 


Conrad, Capt., 47. 
Conway, 104. 
Couch, Gen., 118, 119, 123, 124, 125, 

219, 231, 232, 237, 239, 246. 
County Commissioners, Baltimore, 

Covodejohn, 43, 55, 177, 264,297, 

Cox, Gen., 74, 79, 84, 86, 93, 96, 98, 

99, 103, 107, 135. 
Cress, Mrs. K. S., 290. 
Crilly, Maj. F.J.,326. 
Cullum, Gen. G. W., 159, 206, 302. 
Curtin, Gov. A., 137, 211, 235. 

Derbyshire, A. J., xxii. 

Devereux, J.H.,56,57, 59, 77, 78, 80, 

83, 84, 86, 95, 104, 105, 109, 110, 

116, 128, 130, 134, 150, 185, 240, 

248, 277, 313, 314. 
Dickson, S., xxvi. 
Du Barry, J.N., 213, 216, 219, 220, 

236, 244. . 

Eads, J. B., xxxix. 
Early, Gen. J. A., 213, 214. 
Eicholtz, Col. L. H., 294, 325. 
Ellet, Chas., xxxii. 
Evarts, W. M., 311. 
Ewell, Gen., 115, 213. 

Feaster, Capt., 47. 
Ferguson, 93. 
Field, Cyrus W., xxv. 
Field, J. E., xxv, 43. 
Field, S. T-, xxv. 
Fifield, Maj., 110. 
Fink, Albert, xviii, xxxiv. 
Fink truss, xiv. 
Flagg, 120. 
Flower, F. A., xl. 
Forbes, F. H., 189, 277. 
Ford, Lieut., 46. 
Foster, W. B., xvi. 
Franklin Institute, xxxix. 




Franklin, Gen. W. B., 74, 107, 110, 


Fremont, Gen. J. C., 50. 
French, Gen., 232. 
Fry, Capt., 221. 
Fulton, W. R., 47. 

Garrett, J. W., 117, 138, 139. 

Geary, Gen., 51. 

General Orders, (No. 17) 55, (No. 7) 

67, (No. 23) 70, (No. 182) 150, (No. 
78) 257. 

Gibbon, Gen. John, 195. 

Gillespie, Prof., xvi. 

Glascut, 58. 

Gold-spike, Yillard, xxxvii. 

Gooch, D. W., xxvi. 

Goodhue, A. F., 325. 

Gould, Jay, 318. 

GOY. Robinson, xxi. 

Graham, 120. 

Grant, Gen. U. S., 311. 

Gregg, Gen., 148, 247, 251. 

Halleck, Gen. H. W., xxxii, 70,74,76, 
77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 87, 88, 89, 90, 
93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 103, 
106, 107, 108, 114, 115, 120, 123, 
124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 136, 139, 
144, 146, 147, 153, 158, 159, 160, 
165, 173, 177, 178, 180, 185, 190, 
204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 212, 214, 
215,221, 224, 227, 228, 230,231, 
232, 235, 237, 238, 240, 243, 246, 
255, 256, 257, 263, 277, 278, 279, 
289, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 309. 

Haller, Col. G. O., 120, 127, 128,129, 
130 133 

Hancock, Gen. W. S., 94, 95, 99, 105, 

Hardie, J. A., 260, 261, 262. 

Hardie s pneumatic motors, xxxvi. 

Harker, Lieut., 46. 

Harley, H., xxxiv, xxxv. 

Harter, Lieut., 47. 

Harris, D., xxxiii. 

Haupt & Co., H., xxvii, xxxiii. 

Haupt, Jacob, xiii. 

Haupt, Mrs. H., xxviii. 

Haupt, Prof. L. M., xiv. 

Haupt, Herman, xiii, xiv, xv,xvi,xvii, 
xviii, xix, xx, xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxiv, 
XXY, xxvi, (Brig.-Gen.) xxvii, xxviii, 
xxix, xxx, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxvi, xxxvii, 
xl,43,44, 45. 47, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 
57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 

68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 
77, 78, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 
89, 90, 92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 
101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 

108, 109, 110, 113, 114, 115, 117 
118, 119, 120, 123, 124, 125, 126, 
127, 128, 129, 130, 133, 134, 135, 

136, 137, 138, 143, 144, 145, 146 

147, 150, 153, 154, 155, 156, 159 
160, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168 
169, 173, 176, 178, 179, 185, 189, 
190, 194, 203, 212, 213, 214, 215, 
216, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224 227 
232, 235, 237, 238, 239, 240, 243, 
244, 246, 248, 252, 254, 256 257 
260, 261, 263, 280, 288, 318. 

Heintzelrnan, 74, 78, 79, 80, 85, 93 

137, 138, 154, 252, 312. 
Henry. Capt., 47. 

Hill, Gen. A. P., 115, 213, 221, 231. 

Hoar, E. R., xxvi. 

Holly, Birdsall, xxxviii. 

Holly Mfg. Co., xxxviii. 

Hood, Gen., 323. 

Hook, W., 124, 128. 

Hooker, Gen. J., 74, 85, 87, 88, 89, 
90,93,109,113,115, 119, 184, 185, 
187, 188, 193, 194, 195, 204, 205, 
206, 207, 208, 211, 231, 272, 302, 

Howard, Gen. O. O., 244, 294. 

Hoyt, A. W., 46. 

Hudson, S., 104. 

Humphreys, A. A., 246, 254. 

Hunt, Gen., 231. 

Ingalls, Gen. R., xxxii, 116, 144, 145, 

148, 153, 156, 170, 178, 213, 214, 
215, 216, 239, 240, 244, 245, 246, 
248, 252, 260, 271. 

Irish, J. D., 57, 58, 76, 86, 102, 126. 
Irwin, Capt. R. B., 138. 

Jackson, Gen. "Stonewall," xxix, 50, 

55, 74, 110, 115, 120, 230, 306. 
Jackson, Pres. Andrew, xiii. 
Johnson, R. L, 115. 
Johnston, Gen. J. E., 323. 

Kearney, Gen. P., 74, 76, 77, 78, 84, 

85, 87, 88, 89, 113, 237. 
Kelton, Col. J. C., 160, 302. 
Keller, Ann Cecelia, xiv. 
Keller, Rev. Benj., xiv. 
Kenly, Gen., 140. 
Kennedy, Lieut., 47. 
Keyes, Gen. E. D., 77, 93. 
King, Gen. R., 247, 251. 

Letters from * 
Anderson, Gen. A., 247. 
Banks, Gen. N. P., 120. 
Burnside, Gen. A. E., 159. 

* Nearly all letters in war time are sent by telegraph. 



Letters from 

Clough, Gen.J. B., 216. 

Colburn, Col. A. V., 129, 150 153. 

Devereux, J. H., 57, 77, 150, 247, 
248, 252. 

Halleck, Gen. H. W., 77, 79, 87, 88, 
93, 94, 103, 107, 153, 206, 237, 
240, 243. 

Haller, Col. G. O., 127. 

Hancock, Gen. W. S., 95. 

Hardie, Gen.J. A., 261. 

Haupt, H., 44, 48, 53, 54, 59, 66, 
76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 84, 85, 86, 87, 
88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 99, 100, 
103,104, 105, 107, 108, 109,110, 
114,115, 117, 118, 119, 120,123, 
124,125, 126, 127, 128, 129,130, 
133,134, 136, 138, 144, 147,150, 
155,156, 158, 163, 164, 166,167, 
168,169, 170, 176, 178, 179,185, 
212,214, 215, 219, 220, 221,227, 
235,238, 239, 240, 243, 244,247, 
251, 262. 

Hooker, Gen.J., 204, 206, 207. 

Hudson, S., 104. 

Humphreys, A. A., 246, 254. 

Ingalls, Gen. R., 153, 239. 

Irish, J. D., 86, 126. 

Irwin, Capt. R. B., 138. 

King, Gen. R., 247, 251. 

Lincoln, Pres., 100, 104, 108, 114, 
118,119, 124, 184, 204, 205,206, 
232, 246, 247. 

Marcy, Gen. R. B., 114, 126. 

McCallum, Gen. D. C., 117, 127, 

McCrickett, 86, 95, 104, 105, 128, 
130, 134. 

McClellan,Gen.G.B., 103, 107,109, 
110,119, 120, 123, 129, 146,147. 

McKener, Col. C., 137. 

Meade,Gen. Geo. G., 235, 238, 246. 

Miegs, Gen. M. C., 216, 243. 

Moore, J. J., 107, 123, 154. 

Painter, U. H., 220. 

Pope, Gen., 75, 77, 79, 85, 86, 87, 

Ruggles, Gen. G. D., 78, 86. 

Sawtelle, C. G., 246. 

Scott, Col. T. A., 232, 239. 

Smeed, E. C., 290. 

Stager, Gen. A., 120. 

Stanton,E.M.,44,53, 55, 145, 163, 
220, 264. 

Strein, C. M., 110. 

Sturgis, Gen. S., 87. 

Townsend, Gen. E. D., 163. 

Watson, P. H., 53, 84, 85, 86, 88, 
90, 114, 127, 128. 

Williams, Gen. S., 123, 124. 

Letters to 

Anderson, Gen. A., 240, 244. 
Burnside, Gen. A. E., 158, 166, 168, 

169, 170, 178. 
Cameron, Simon, 246. 
Clough, Gen., 130. 
Colburn, Col. A. V., 129, 133. 
Devereux, J. H., 77, 78, 86, 95, 104, 

105, 110, 128, 130, 134, 240. 
Du Barry, J. N., 244. 
Gregg, Gen., 247. 
Halleck, Gen. H. W., 76, 77, 79, 88, 

89,94,95, 99, 100, 103, 104, 107, 

108,109,115, 123, 124, 125, 126, 

128.136.144, 212, 214, 220, 221, 
227, 232, 235, 238, 246. 

Haller, Col. G. O., 120, 129. 

Haupt, H., 44, 53, 54, 57, 76, 77, 
78, 79, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 93, 
94, 99, 100, 103, 104, 107, 108, 
109,114,117, 118, 119, 120, 123, 
124,126,127, 128, 129, 130, 137, 

138.139.145, 146, 147, 150, 153, 
154,159,163, 215, 216, 219, 220, 
232,239,243, 246, 247, 248, 251, 
252, 254, 261, 264, 290. 

Heintzelman, Gen., 154. 

Hooker, Gen.J., 184, 204,205,206. 

Ingalls, Gen. R.,214, 239, 240, 244, 

248, 252. 

Kearney, Gen. P., 89. 
King, Gen. R., 251. 
Lincoln, Pres., 100, 107, 108, 110, 

115,118,119, 124, 126, 157, 204, 


Marcy, Gen. R. B., 126. 
McCrickett, 78, 84, 85, 86, 90, 105, 

120, 124, 130, 133, 134. 
McCallum, D. C., 77, 95, 127, 144, 

216, 244, 252. 
McDowell, Gen., 48, 53. 
McClellan, Gen. G. B., 103, 104, 

107,108,110, 114, 120, 125, 126, 

129, 130, 133, 146. 
Meade,Gen. Geo. G., 237, 240, 243. 
Meigs, Gen. M. C., 153, 215, 238, 

239, 240, 243. 
Moore, J.J., 104, 109. 
Morrell, D.J., 243. 
Pope, Gen., 76, 78, 79, 80, 85, 88, 

89, 90, 93. 

Rucker, Gen. D. H., 220. 
Ruggles, Gen., 76, 78. 
Smeed, E. C., 244. 
Stager, Gen. A., 104, 120. 
Stanton, Sec. Edwin M., 44, 49, 54, 

59, 66, 163, 164, 166, 238, 262. 
Strein, C. M., 106, 113. 
Sturgis, Gen., 87. 
Thomson, Col. A., 219. 
Tyler, Gen., 126, 130. 



Letters to 

Watson, P. H., 53, 76, 80, 84, 85, 
88, 89, 90, 117, 118, 124, 127, 
155, 156. 

Wendell, Col., 153. 
Williams, Gen. S., 133. 
Wright, W. W., 138, 167, 176, 179, 

Lampman, Lieut., 47. 

Latrobe, B. H., xiv. 

Lee, Gen. R. E., xxxi, xxxii, 75, 109, 
115, 134, 137, 145, 147, 157, 204, 
205, 208, 211, 212, 213, 221, 223, 
224, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 
238, 243, 244, 246, 247, 251, 276, 
303, 310, 319. 

Lee, Gen. W. R., xxviii. 

Lincoln, Pres., xxxi, xxxii, 49, 50, 63, 
75, 87, 96, 97, 100, 104, 107, 108, 
110, 114, 115, 118, 119, 124, 126, 
127, 135, 145, 160, 174, 177, 184, 
194, 195, 204, 205, 206, 207, 224, 
227, 228, 232, 237, 243, 246, 247, 
253, 264, 289, 297, 298, 306, 309. 

Lincoln, Robt. T., 224. 

Lombaert, H. J. xix. 

Longmaid, S., 47. 

Longstreet, Gen., 115, 212, 213, 221, 
223, 231, 311. 

Lord, Mr., 313. 

Lowe, 194. 

Lowell, Col., 247. 

McCallum, Gen. D. C., 44, 54, 58, 77 
95, 127, 144, 167, 185, 216, 244 
252, 264, 277, 289, 290, 293, 312, 

McClellan, Gen. George B., 43, 75, 
87, 97, 98, 99, 103, 104, 105, 106, 
107, 108, 109, 110, 113, 114, 119, 
120, 123, 124, 125, 126, 129, 130, 

133, 134, 136, 137, 138, 140, 144, 
145,146,147, 148, (relieved) 150, 
153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 180, 
185, 298, 305, 306, 310. 

McDowell, Gen. Irvin, 43, 44, 45, 46, 
47,48,49,50,53, 54, 55, 56, 60, 61, 
63, 68, 69, 70, 74, 115, 119, 155, 
156, 174, 185, 228, 264, 269, 271, 
296, 298, 303, 304, 305, 306, 317, 

McKean, J. A., xxix. 

McKelvey, D., xxxv. 

McKener, Col. C., 137. 

McCrickett, 84, 85, 86, 90, 95, 98, 
104, 105, 120, 124, 128, 130, 133, 

134, 318. 

McPherson, E., 137. 
Marcy, Gen. R. B., 114, 126. 
Markham, E. M., 113. 

Meade, Gen. Geo. G., xiii, xxxi, xxxii, 
207, 208, 211, 212, 214, 215, 221, 

223, 224, 227, 228, 229, 231, 232 

235, 236, 337, 238, 239, 240, 243, 

246, 247, 248, 252, 253, 254, 260, 

276,303, 309, 310, 317. 
Meig s elevated r. r., xxxviii. 
Meigs, Gen. M. C., 138,153,160,165, 

169, 180, 189, 215, 216, 238, 239 

240, 243, 245. 
Merrick, S. V., xvi. 
Merrill, A. B., xxii. 
Miller, E., xvi. 
Moore, J. J., 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 

123, 154, 155, 325. 
Moorhead, Gen. J. K., 46. 
Alorrell, D. J., 240, 243. 
Morris, Gen. T. A., xiii. 
Moseby, Gen., 148, 251. 

Nagle, G. W., 138, 237, 276, 318. 

Napoleon, 47, 148, 230. 

Nevin, G. W., 244. 

Nevins, I. B., 47. 

Newton, Gen., 311. 

Notice (by H. Haupt), 95, 105. 

Ord, Gen. E. O. C., 58. 

Order (by E. M. Stanton), 45, 70, 

Orders, General, (No. 17) 55, (No 7) 

66, (No. 23) 70, (No. 182) 150. 

Painter, U. H., 220. 

Park, Gen. J. G., 176. 

Passes, 136, 140. 

Patrick, Gen. M. R., 49, 223. 

Paxton, Rev. W., 174. 

Pennypacker, Lieut., 47. 

Pierce, Col., 86. 

Pleasanton, Gen. A., 223, 232. 

Plunt, Capt., 153. 

Poe, Gen., O. M., 199, 294. 

Pond, Lieut., 46. 

Pope, Gen. John, xxix, 50, 63, 69, 
70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 
83, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 93, 95, 97, 
98, 99, 103, 109, 113, 114, 115, 117, 
118, 119, 120, 129, 134, 135, 139, 
147, 168, 185, 247, 269, 270, 271, 
298, 304, 305. 

Porter, Gen. F.J., 74, 305. 

Potts, J. D., 138, 140. 

Ramsay, Lieut., 47. 

Reed, Rev. A., 174. 

Report of Gen. Halleck, 207. 

Report of Gen. H. Haupt, 45, 139, 

149, 197, 235, 255, 268. 
Report of Gen. McCallum, 321. 
Report of Gen. Pope, 74. 
Reynolds, Gen. J. F., 74, 137, 309, 310. 



Richardson, Gen., 117. 

Roberts, B. S. f 73. 

Robinson Gen. H. L., 78, 85, 326. 

Robinson, Gov., xxvii. 

Rogers, Lieut. E. M., 47. 

Roper, Capt. G. S., 326. 

Rosecrans, Gen. W. S., 289. 

Rucker, Gen. D. H., 220. 

Ruggles, Gen. G. D., 70, 76, 78, 86, 

Russell, Capt. A.J., 256. 

Sargent John, 310. 

Sawtelle, C. G., 246. 

Saxton, Lieut., 47. 

Scammon, Col., 96, 98, 99, 106, 107, 

108, 110. 
Schenck, Gen. R. C., 212, 213, 214, 

215, 235. 
Scott, T. A., xx, 211, 212, 213, 231, 

232, 235, 239, 240, 243, 276, 318, 


Scott, J., 124. 
Secretary of War, xxxviii, 45, 53, 54, 

59, 66, 69, 116, 117, 127, 135, 136, 

145, 154, 160, 163, 174, 188, 189, 

190, 193, 208, 215, 227, 235, 238, 

260, 261, 263, 268, 277, 297, 321. 
Sedgwick, Gen., 194, 207. 
Seward, W. H., 46. 
Shannon, Cart., 47. 
Sheridan, Gen. P., 199. 
Sherman, Gen. W. T., 290, 314, 317, 

Shields, Gen. J., 49. 
Shoemaker, S. M., 215, 237. 
vSickles, Gen. D. E., 115, 153, 221, 

236, 276. 
Sigel, Gen. P., 109, 113, 115, 119, 


Slocum, Gen., 94, 95. 
Smeed, E. C., 47, 176, 186, 187, 

193, 199, 237, 244, 271, 276, 289, 

Smith, Gen. W. P., 94, 95, 99, 106, 

115, 239, 246. 
Smith, W. P., 139, 144. 
Spear, G. P., 47, 318. 
Special Order, 159, 208. 
Stager, Gen. A., 58, 98, 104, 120. 
Stanton, Sec. E. M., xxviii,xxix,xxxi, 

xxxii, xxxiii, 43, 53, 55, 59, 66, 70, 

87,90,135,145,157,159, 163, 164. 

165, 166, 189, 207, 216, 220, 237, 

238, 262, 264, 267, 268, 289, 301, 


Stephenson, Robt., xvi. 
Steriger, J. B., xiii. 
Stevens, Gen. 74. 

Stevens, W. J., 325. 

Stone, D., 45, 46, 53, 54,57,269,317. 

Stoneman, Gen., 207. 

Strein, C. M., 106, 113. 

Stuart, Gen. J. E. B., 73, 115, 190, 

Sturgis, Gen. S., 74, 76, 79, 80, 83, 

86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 94, 95, 99, 135, 
Summer, Gen., 168. 

Taylor, Gen., 96, 98, 103, 104, 105, 


Taylor, Mr., xxix. 
Thomas, Chas , 238. 
Thomas, Lieut., 47. 
Thomson, Col. A., 219. 
Thomson, John Edgar, xvi, xvii, 


Townsend, Gen. E. D., 163. 
Tyler, Col., 103, 104, 120, 126, 130. 

Upperdale, Lieut., 47. 

Vanbon, 146. 

Villard gold-spike, xxxvii. 

Wadsworth, Gen. J. S., 68, 127, 156. 

War, Sec. of, xxxviii, 43, 45, 53. 59, 
66,69,116,117,127,135, 136, 145, 
154, 160, 163, 174, 188, 189, 190, 
193, 208, 215, 227, 235, 238, 260, 
261, 263, 268, 277, 297, 321. 

Warren, Engineer, 253. 

Waterhouse, 120. 

Watson, P. H., 53, 54, 69, 76, 79, 80, 
83, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 113, 116, 
117, 118, 125, 127, 128, 155, 156, 
165, 264,301. 

Wellington, A. M., xviii. 

Wells, Col , 78. 

Wendell, Col., 153. 

Wentz, E. L., 277, 293, 325. 

White, Col., 99. 

Whiton, W. H., 144, 313. 

Whit well. Engineer, xxiii. 

Wiggins, 199. 

Willard, J. C., 46. 

Williams, Gen. S , 123, 124, 133, 260. 

Wilson, Capt. E. C., 138. 

Wise, H. A., 310. 

Wood, Gen., 139. 

Wood, M. P., 124. 

Wool, Gen. J. E., 140. 

Wright, J. A., 137. 

Wright, W. W., 47, 138, 160, 165, 
167, 176, 179, 185, 193, 195, 219, 
244, 271, 277, 289, 293, 294, 314, 

TO*- 202 Main Library 








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